Shaka Smart leaves Texas to take over Marquette’s program | College Sports

MILWAUKEE (AP) — After a frustrating six-year stint at Texas in which he never quite lived up to lofty expectations, Shaka Smart is returning to his home state and starting over at Marquette.

Marquette officially announced Friday that it had hired Smart to replace Steve Wojciechowski, who was fired a week ago. The move came six days after Smart’s Texas team was upset 53-52 by Abilene Christian in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

“Throughout the search, one individual continued to rise to the top, and that was Shaka,” Marquette athletic director Bill Scholl said in a statement. “I am beyond excited for our current and future student-athletes who will have the great fortune of being mentored by Shaka. He is a great teacher of the game, while also being a great molder of young men.”

Smart, who turns 44 on April 8, will be formally introduced at a Monday news conference.

Smart went 109-86 with no NCAA Tournament victories at Texas after a remarkably successful six-year run at VCU, where he went 163-56 and led the Rams to a Final Four appearance in 2011. Texas went 19-8 this season and won the Big 12 Tournament before its early NCAA exit.

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