Austin, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - The Texas Longhorns made it official Friday and named Shaka Smart their new men's head basketball coach.
Smart, who turns 38 on April 8, spent the past six seasons at VCU, guiding the Rams to at least 26 wins each season and a Final Four appearance in 2011. He posted a 163-56 record and guided the Rams to five consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances after capturing a CBI title in his first season of 2009-10.
The program's 2011 run from the First Four to the Final Four made Smart a hot coaching commodity, and he turned down high-profile job offers in recent years to remain at VCU.
Smart released a statement Friday saying moving on from VCU "was not an easy decision for me," but he is "looking forward to building on the past success of Texas basketball."
The Longhorns needed a replacement for Rick Barnes, the winningest coach in program history. Barnes was fired last month after a 17-year stint and already landed a new job at Tennessee.
This year's Longhorns squad finished 20-14, falling to Butler in its NCAA Tournament opener. Texas hasn't advanced to the second week of the tourney since 2008.
"There is tremendous potential in this program and my job is to work extremely hard to ensure that we realize that potential," Smart added. "I can't wait to get to work."
VCU finished 26-10 this past season, winning the Atlantic 10 Tournament before falling to Ohio State in overtime in its NCAA Tournament opener.