SMART STEPS DOWN AS MEN’S BASKETBALL COACH

RICHMOND, Va. – Shaka Smart has resigned as VCU Men's Basketball coach to accept the same position at Texas.

The Rams were 163-56 during Smart's six-year tenure and reached five NCAA Tournaments. He led VCU to the 2011 Final Four. Under Smart's tutelage, VCU finished 26-10 this past season and captured the program's first Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament Championship. It was the Rams' sixth straight season with 26 or more wins.

Smart's 163 victories are the second-most by any Division I head coach in the first six years of their career. This season, VCU became the first Division I institution in the Commonwealth of Virginia to appear in five consecutive NCAA Tournaments.

"We will remember Shaka's success on the court and with our student-athletes forever, but more importantly, he has helped to create a level of sustainable success on an elite level nationally," Associate Vice President and Director of Athletics Ed McLaughlin said, "I speak for our entire department in thanking him and his staff for everything they have done for our student-athletes and VCU. We wish him well in Austin."

"It has been an extraordinary honor to be your head coach for the past six years. I'm extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to build on the tradition of VCU Basketball. I want to express my deep gratitude for all VCU players, past and present, our coaching staff and all the people that have worked tirelessly to support our program," Smart said. "The leadership of President Michael Rao and Athletic Director Ed McLaughlin has been instrumental in VCU Basketball's tremendous growth. I also want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart to all the VCU students, alumni, the Peppas and our phenomenal fans that make the Siegel Center such an unbelievable place to play and coach. The ascendance of the VCU program has been and will continue to be about a special group of people both within and outside the immediate team that make VCU Basketball extremely unique. This program's future is extremely bright. The best is yet to come."

VCU will immediately begin a national search for Smart's replacement.