Originally written on Rumors and Rants  |  Last updated 11/13/14

Shaka Smart has been one of the most sought-after young college basketball coaches over the past few years and when any job opens up, his name is always among the first mentioned as a potential replacement. This year has been no exception, but we can now confirm that Smart will be staying at Virginia Commonwealth for the foreseeable future. Despite overtures from both Minnesota and UCLA, Smart has decided to turn aside all inquiries and remain at VCU for now. On top of rebuffing UCLA and Minnesota, Smart will also sign a contract extension with VCU through 2023. Last year, Smart also turned down the job at Illinois. From what we’ve been told, Smart was the top choice for both the Bruins and Golden Gophers, and both schools went after him hard through back channels. Smart was hired at VCU by Norwood Teague, who is now the athletic director at Minnesota, but that relationship wasn’t enough to draw the 35-year-old coach away from Richmond. Meanwhile, our sources claim that Smart just wasn’t ready to leave the friendly confines of VCU, where he has a low-pressure, high-paying job. UCLA is obviously the best job the young coach has been connected to, but there is a huge difference between Richmond and Los Angeles, and Smart just wasn’t ready to be thrown into the media fire that would awaited him out west. In addition to that, we’re hearing that UCLA has told people behind the scenes that whoever the new coach is, his salary will max out at around $2.5 million per season. Smart’s new extension will increase his salary to $1.5 million per season at VCU, so it’s not like the money from UCLA would have overwhelmed him. Our sources close to the UCLA program claim the Bruins have reached out to at least a dozen candidates through back-channels, casting a wide net. The reason? The school wants a new coach in place very soon, and won’t wait around to lick its wounds after being turned down by Smart. The coaches we can confirm that have been approached are former Los Angeles Lakers head coach Mike Brown, Villanova head coach Jay Wright, Purdue’s Matt Painter, Wichita State’s Gregg Marshall and N.C. State’s Mark Gottfried. UCLA has also attempted to connect with Florida head coach Billy Donovan and Butler’s Brad Stevens, but neither coach appears willing to listen. Stevens has told people close to him that there are only two jobs he would leave Butler for (which I won’t list here, but those who know Stevens know what they are and it’s not much of a mystery), and UCLA is not on that list. Like Smart, Stevens is making nearly $1.5 million per year, so the money UCLA is offering won’t overwhelm him either. UCLA’s job is obviously one of the biggest in all of college basketball, but that wasn’t enough to lure Shaka Smart from his comfortable gig at VCU and isn’t likely to dislodge Stevens either. If I had to guess, I’d say Gottfried is the current leader. He has UCLA ties from his time as an assistant in Westwood under former coach Jim Harrick in 1995 when the Bruins won their last national championship. We’ll keep you updated with what we’re hearing.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

WATCH: Klay Thompson takes knee to head from Ariza

DeSean Jackson skips Redskins OTAs, goes to Cavs game

Texans to be featured on HBO's 'Hard Knocks'

WATCH: Ducks score controversial goal

Report: Ray McDonald arrested for violating restraining order

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Braves, Dodgers complete six-player swap

USA Soccer, CONCACAF losers in FIFA’s ‘World Cup of fraud’

Report: Tom Brady suspension appeal date not set yet

Are the St. Louis Rams setting up Nick Foles for failure?

LeBron: Didn't see Cavs reaching Finals at start of season

Pete Carroll: Communication with Russell Wilson is ‘great’

Lil B takes credit for Harden's terrible game, lifts curse

Riley Curry steals show at postgame news conference

Warriors beat Rockets in Game 5, advance to NBA Finals

Kentucky fan in Louisville has 38-1 sticker on car

Nick Kyrgios talks sex before tourneys, dating female players

Jared Dudley: 'Melo is most overrated player in NBA

Garrick Sherman bashes NCAA in epic drunken Twitter rant

Adrian Peterson denies reports that he wants to be traded

Report: Bulls players told Tom Thibodeau will not be back

Broncos wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders "gets it"

Bucs DE George Johnson is a dog show enthusiast

The 3-point shot has become a divisive metaphor in the NBA

College Basketball News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

USA Soccer, CONCACAF losers in FIFA’s ‘World Cup of fraud’

The 3-point shot has become a divisive metaphor in the NBA

Corey Crawford is the weakest link for the Blackhawks

Star player missing OTAs? Keep calm...

Transfer rumors: Drogba, Pirlo and Gomez linked to MLS

Cano's slump: The good news, bad news

Disappointments of the MLB season

UGA wants SEC to ban transfers with misconduct issues

Long's great reaction to Bears releasing McDonald

Crazy stats from the NBA Playoffs

Royals' Guthrie sets records in blowout

Bears cut McDonald after incident

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.