REPORT: Shaka Smart shows interest in Illinois coaching job

Posted at 6:52 AM, Mar 20, 2012
and last updated 2012-03-20 15:14:15-04

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – The Chicago Sun-Times is reporting VCU Rams head basketball coach Shaka Smart has “shown solid interest” in the head coaching job at the University of Illinois. Reporter Herb Gould said his source is a person who has spoken to both Coach Smart and Illinois athletic director Mike Thomas.

‘‘They’re going to make damn sure they don’t let him get away,’’ the source told Gould. Gould also reported another source told him that Smart to Illinois is “far from a done deal.”[Click here to read the Sun-Times report]

Smart, who recently signed a contract extension at VCU, is considered one of the best young college basketball coaches in the country. One year after leading the Rams on a historic run to the Final Four in 2011, Smart lead his 2012 team back to the NCAA tournament. This year the Rams, who earned a 12 seed, upset 5-seed Wichita State before losing by two points to 4-seed Indiana University.