Shaka Smart

Shaka Smart (born April 8, 1977)

Current position: Head men’s basketball coach
Current team: Marquette Golden Eagles
Current conference: Big East Conference
VCU record: 163-56 (.744)
Texas record: 109-86 (.559)
Marquette record: 75-30 (.714)
Overall record: 348-171 (.671)

Career Accomplishments:


Coaching Career (head coach, unless noted):

2021-present Marquette
2015-2021 Texas
2009-2015 VCU
2008-2009 Florida (asst)
2006-2008 Clemson (asst)
2003-2006 Akron (asst)
2001-2003 Dayton (DBO)
1999-2001 California (PA) (asst)

Shaka Smart Facts

  • Shaka Dingani Smart
  • Born April 8, 1977
  • Hometown: Madison, Wisconsin
  • Alma Mater: Kenyon College (BA, 1999) / California University of Pennsylvania (MS, 2001)
  • Graduated from Oregon HS (WI) and then was a four-year starter at D-III Kenyon College (OH), where he played for head coaches Richard Whitmore and Bill Brown
  • Got started in coaching in 1999 as an assistant at California (PA) under Bill Brown, where he spent two years and earned his masters
  • Hired by Oliver Purnell as the Director of Basketball Operations at Dayton in 2001, spending two years in that position
  • Spent three years as an assistant at Akron, first under Dan Hipsher and the under Keith Dambrot
  • Reunited with Purnell at Clemson in 2006 as an assistant for two years, then spent one year at Florida under Billy Donovan before being hired at VCU
  • VCU tenure got off to an incredible start, winning the 2010 CBI title in his first season and making an improbable run to the NCAA Final Four in 2011 as a 10-seed
    • Smart and VCU became household names after the F4 run and would play in the NCAA Tournament in each of the next four seasons – two of which were due to at-large bids (as was the 2010 berth)
  • After being courted for many high major openings, Shaka finally left VCU in 2015 to become the next head coach at Texas
    • Led the Longhorns to a 20-13 record and NCAA berth in his first season; returned to the NCAAs two years later (2018)
    • Won the 2019 NIT title, the second such championship for the Texas program
    • In 2021, Smart led UT to its first Big 12 Tournament crown in program history and got back to the NCAA Tournament
  • In March 2021, Smart decided to leave Texas and become the head coach at Marquette, returning to his home state of Wisconsin

Shaka Smart Coaching Tree