Shaka Smart 'can't wait' to get started as the Marquette Men's Basketball coach
At a news conference, Coach Smart started off by saying, "I'm so excited to be part of the Marquette nation."
The new head coach for the Golden Eagles put together quite a first impression for everyone in attendance. The Madison native said he had three reasons for leaving Texas: Marquette stands for basketball, family and the shared vision of the athletic department.
"I grew up about an hour from here, I was born in Madison. I spent my whole childhood in Wisconsin and it’s phenomenal being back, but the reason I came back was Marquette," said Smart.
Shaka will be the 18th head coach in school history, but the first Black coach. He understands what that means for his players and what it means for the future of the sport.
"It is certainly significant. I take a lot of responsibility and pride in being the first Black head coach here," said Smart. "Hopefully down the road there's another Black coach, not just at Marquette, but all around the country," Smart said.
Smart comes to Milwaukee after six years at Texas where he went 109-86, winning the Big 12 Championship Tournament and making his third NCAA Tournament with the Longhorns.
Prior to that, the 43-year old spent six seasons at VCU. He led the Rams to a 163-56 record and five NCAA Tournaments including a Final Four Run in 2011.