Smart welcomes familiar face on Friday

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Shaka Smart is entering his sixth season as VCU's head coach, but his coaching career goes back to the 1999-2000 season. That's when he got his start on the bench trying to teach and lead young players at California University of Pennsylvania.

Smart will welcome the Vulcans and their head coach, Bill Brown, to the Siegel Center on Friday for an exhibition game. Brown gave Smart his start on his staff at California, and the team went 40-16 during its two years with Smart on the staff.

While Smart has moved up in the ranks and now leads one of the nation's top teams, he still attributes a lot of his success to Brown. Smart says Brown gave him a shot and taught him a lot of things. He says this exhibition is a great way for him to show some appreciation to Brown and give his team a chance to play a division one opponent. Smart says there isn't anybody he'd rather play or be around than his former boss.

VCU and California (PA) will tip off at 7:00pm on Friday at the Siegel Center.

Copyright 2014 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.