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Shaka Smart agrees to eight-year deal to stay at VCU

April 4, 2011 |  2:26 pm

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The NCAA basketball coach with a great name -- and a team that wasn't so bad either -- is apparently staying put.

Shaka Smart, the 33-year-old coach who led Virginia Commonwealth from the "First Four" to the Final Four, has agreed to terms on a new, eight-year contract to remain with the Rams, team spokesman Scott Day said Monday.

Since VCU's unexpected run during the NCAA tournament, Smart's name has come up in connection with numerous coaching vacancies. Day said Smart had been offered the North Carolina State job to replace Sidney Lowe, who resigned last month.

"He is staying" at VCU, Day said of Smart.

The Rams are 55-21 under Smart, who coached them to the College Basketball Invitational tournament championship last year and five NCAA tournament wins, including four by double digits, this season.They became the third No. 11 seed to advance to the Final Four, where they lost to Butler, 70-62, on Saturday.

According to the school, Smart's base salary was $325,000 this year and he was due to make nearly twice that with performance bonuses. Details from the new deal are expected to be released later Monday.

ALSO:

Rare sight in Butler-Connecticut title matchup: Stars who stuck around

Question of the Day: How does the loss by UConn women diminish their legacy?

-- Chuck Schilken

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photo: Virginia Commonwealth Coach Shaka Smart. Credit: Eric Gay / Associated Press

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