RICHMOND, Va. – Head Coach Shaka Smart did not have to look far to fill his open assistant coaching position.

Smart announced today that Mike Morrell, the Director of Basketball Operations at VCU the past two seasons, has been elevated to assistant coach. He will assume the position left vacant after Will Wade was named the head coach at UT-Chattanooga earlier this month.

"Mike has been a valuable member of our staff for the past two years," Smart said. "We're excited about him assuming this new role."

Over the past two years, Morrell handled the Rams' day-to-day operations, overseeing team travel, scheduling, practice schedules and more. During his two seasons with the Black & Gold, VCU has posted a 56-16 mark, including back-to-back trips to the NCAA Tournament Round of 32.

"I couldn't be more excited for the chance to stay a part of this program and continue to help develop our student-athletes here at VCU," Morrell said. "I appreciate the opportunity that Coach Smart has given me and look forward to helping this program reach even greater heights."

Prior to his arrival at VCU, Morrell spent the 2010-11 season as an assistant coach at Charleston Southern, where he served as the program's academic and scouting coordinator, and handled the recruiting duties in the southern part of the country.

Morrell and Smart have a history together, working side-by-side during the 2007-08 campaign at Clemson on Oliver Purnell's staff. The Elizabethton, Tenn. native served as the Tigers' Director of Basketball Operations from 2008-10. He was a part of three consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances at Clemson. He also spent two years as an assistant at King College in Bristol, Tenn.

Morrell was a two-sport standout at Milligan College in northeast Tennessee. He still ranks among the top-10 in school history for total points, tallying over 1,400 during his four-year career. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in History from Milligan in 2005.

November 7, 2012 JOIN THE RAMS ON THE ROAD