VCU Coach Shaka Smart Turns Down Illinois

March 22, 2012 Updated: October 1, 2015
VCU v Wichita St.
VCU Coach Shaka Smart is 84-28 in three years with the Rams. (Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)

VCU Coach Shaka Smart turned down a $2.5 million offer to become the head coach at Illinois University, according to a report in the Chicago Sun-Times.

“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, according to a report on VCU’s website.

“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.

Smart, 34, lead VCU to an unprecedented trip to the Final Four last year—the first in the school’s history—and followed that up with a 29-win season this year, his third at the school.

Illinois is searching for a head coach after parting ways with Bruce Weber, who had been there since 2003.