RICHMOND, Va. – VCU men's basketball Head Coach Shaka Smart announced the addition of Assistant Coach David Cason to his staff on Wednesday. Cason has been an assistant at Vanderbilt University for the past three seasons.
Cason replaces Mike Rhoades, who became the head coach at Rice University earlier this month. It is the fourth straight year a VCU assistant has been handed the reins to their own program (Mike Jones – Radford, Jamion Christian – Mt. St. Mary's, Will Wade – Chattanooga).
"We're extremely excited about the addition of David and his family to our program. He possesses a terrific basketball background, both as a player and as a coach," Smart said. "David will be a tremendous asset to our coaching staff and student-athletes."
During Cason's three seasons at Vanderbilt, the Commodores won 56 games. He was on the sideline for the 2012 SEC Championship, the first won by VU in nearly 20 years. That squad went on to earn a five seed in the NCAA Tournament and reached the third round after beating Harvard. Cason also played a role in the tutelage of current NBA players and former Commodores, Jeffrey Taylor (Charlotte Bobcats) and John Jenkins (Atlanta Hawks).
"I'm really excited the opportunity to join the VCU basketball program. What Coach Smart, his staff and the players have done over the past five years is nothing short of remarkable," Cason said. "I'm looking forward to rejoining a longtime friend in Jeremy Ballard and continuing to build my relationships with the rest of the coaching staff and the players. My family and I can't wait to be a part of the VCU and Richmond communities."
Prior to his time at VU, Cason spent six seasons at the University of Tulsa under Head Coach Doug Wojcik and alongside current VCU assistant Jeremy Ballard. He spent his final three seasons at Tulsa as associate head coach. In his six years at Tulsa, the Golden Hurricane posted a 123-78 record and advanced to the Conference USA Championship Game twice, won the inaugural post-season College Basketball Invitational (CBI) Championship in 2008 and made appearances in the 2009 and 2010 NIT post-season tournaments. During his tenure, the Hurricane posted four straight 20-win seasons (2007-10) and won 25 games in 2008 and 2009.
Cason also served as an assistant at TCU for two seasons, where he helped the Horned Frogs reach the postseason (NIT) in 2004-05.
From 2001-03, Cason served as the director of basketball operations at North Carolina. During that time, the Tar Heels reached the NCAA second round in 2001 while finishing with a 26-7 record. UNC advanced to the NIT in 2003. Prior to his time at North Carolina, he spent one season at Notre Dame and helped the Fighting Irish post a 22-15 record and earn a berth in the NIT Championship Game.
As a player, he spent two seasons (1991-93) at the College of Southern Idaho before finishing his collegiate career at Illinois State. He led the Missouri Valley Conference in assists both seasons and also guided his team to a 20-13 record and an NIT appearance as a senior. In his senior season, Cason was named the Team MVP and the Redbirds' Athlete of the Year, and also established the school's single-game assists record with 16. He is still the Redbirds' all-time leader in career assists per game with 6.0.
Cason earned his bachelor's degree in recreation management from Illinois State. He and his wife, Tamara, have three children: daughters Da-Via and Taylor, and son, DJ.