Shaka Smart Leaves Texas to Take Marquette Job
Chris Covatta/Getty Images. Pictured: Shaka Smart (left) and Jase Febres (right).
Shaka Smart has taken himself off the hot seat at Texas by accepting the head coaching job at Marquette.
According to multiple reports, including CBS Sports' Jon Rothstein, Smart is returning home to Wisconsin to take over the Golden Eagles. Marquette fired Steve Wojciechowski this offseason after seven years in charge.
Smart spent six seasons at Texas and never broke through the way that was expected after his six years with VCU. Texas won the Big 12 Tournament this year but was upset by in-state competition Abilene Christian in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The Longhorns won at least 19 games in five of his six years but never won an NCAA Tournament game.
At Marquette, Smart can return to a smaller school where basketball is the priority rather than the football school of Texas. It's a school searching for success ever since Buzz Williams left for Virginia Tech. Marquette hasn't won an NCAA Tournament game since 2012-13. The Golden Eagles only went there twice under Wojciechowski with two seasons above .500 in the Big East.
Smart ends his Texas stint 89-91-3 against the spread. He was 101-100-3 against the spread at VCU.
Since going to Texas in 2015, Shaka Smart was 1 of 3 head coaches 0-3 against the spread or worse in the NCAA Tournament… 😬
+ Shaka Smart: 0-3 ATS
+ Cuonzo Martin: 0-3 ATS
+ Ed Cooley: 0-4 ATS https://t.co/7blEO74m7K
— The Action Network (@ActionNetworkHQ) March 26, 2021
It was assumed Loyola Chicago's Porter Moser would be a top candidate for Marquette. That could make him a fit for the new opening at Texas, although it wouldn't be a surprise to hear Texas Tech head coach Chris Beard or Illinois Fighting Illini coach Brad Underwood connected to the opening either. Indiana is another major school looking to fill a vacancy.