Posts Tagged ‘Florida’

Links: Mack, Geving, Thomas round out the Carousel

April 19, 2009 Leave a comment

Xavier found their man in house. So did Portland State. And Isiah “Thompson” Thomas is starting off pro-bono at FIU. He’s not sunshine to everyone. Speaking of Florida, Richard Pitino (Rick’s son) is headed south too, filling VCU’s Shaka Smart’s vacancy at Florida.

And then the 2009 NCAA Men’s Hoops Coaching Carousel purred to a stop. Will these hot coaches make the A.D. short lists next season? We’ll see you back here then!


Shaka Smart to coach VCU

March 31, 2009 1 comment

Seth Davis and John Goodman both report that Florida assistant Shaka Smart will be the next head basketball coach for the Virginia Commonwealth Rams.

The Orlando Sentinel interviewed Smart a year ago when he joined Florida.  Prior to Florida, Smart was an assistant at Akron for three years, and then Clemson for two years. Akron coach Keith Dambrot said this about Smart a couple years ago:

“Shaka is one of the best young coaches in the country. He has unbelievable work ethic, great recruiting expertise, and had great rapport with our players.”

Smart, 32, inherits one of the better non-BCS conference programs which could be argued as one of the best stepping stone jobs in college basketball.

Question: Has the VCU job become a stepping stone?

March 30, 2009 1 comment

With two high profile coaching changes in seven years, Virginia Commonwealth could be argued to be the best stepping stone for coaches seeking high profile BCS conference jobs. If  star junior forward  Larry Sanders stays, VCU could be a fertile ground for a new coach to follow Jeff Capel and Anthony Grant’s lead.

This may become a dilemma for VCU trying to retain their coaches. But is it really that bad? Marketing VCU as a coaching spring board could help maintain the Ram’s recent national relevance. Future recruits would know that if their coach leaves, VCU has a special ability to find and pluck the best upcoming coaches available. How fun would have been to play for Jeff Capel before he became a coaching star?

As every head coach in America is proud whenever his assistant is offered a head coaching position, similarly VCU athletic director Norwood Teague should take Grant’s departure as a paradoxical complement to the Ram’s program. All signs point to him doing just this. Wasting absolutely no time, Teague got on the plane to interview possible replacements.

According to, Texas’ assistant Russell Springmann, Florida assistant Shaka Smart, Wake Forest assistant Jeff Battle, Kansas assistant Joe Dooley, Ohio State assistant Archie Miller, current VCU assistant Tony Pujol,  Auburn head coach Jeff Lebo, and Navy head coach Billy Lange.