Shaka Smith Not Coming to Illinois - NBC Chicago

Shaka Smith Not Coming to Illinois

Virginia Commonwealth coach will keep his current job, turning down a multi-million dollar offer to succeed UIUC's Bruce Weber



    Celebrate This Holiday Season in Lively St. Charles
    Getty Images
    Head coach Shaka Smart of the Virginia Commonwealth Rams celebrates after defeating Kansas during the southwest regional final of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at the Alamodome on March 27, 2011 in San Antonio, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

    Virginia Commonwealth coach Shaka Smart will not be coming to Illinois, and he said Wednesday that he's not pursuing any other coaching offers.

    "There are great things to accomplish at VCU and I’m looking forward to building on the successes of our program and university," Smart said in a written statement.'s Gary Parrish appears to be the first to report that Smart will stay at VCU, turning down a multi-million dollar offer to succeed UIUC's Bruce Weber.

    "Coach Smart recognizes -- as do the rest of the university community, alumni and fans -- that VCU is the place to be right now," said VCU President Michael Rao. "He continues to demonstrate his commitment to VCU and its pursuit of excellence athletically and academically. Under his leadership, the success of the VCU basketball program and our scholar athletes raises the bar for national research universities and intercollegiate athletics."

    For Illinois, the news means athletic director Mike Thomas' search continues. Possible candidates include Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton, the University of Washington's Lorenzo Romar and Anthony Grant from the University of Alabama.