As you know, last week Richmond bid farewell to Shaka Smart as the head coach of the VCU Rams after he announced that he was leaving to coach to the Texas University Longhorns.
Shaka was more than a great head coach, he was a transformational leader. He was able to get a team, a city and a region to coalesce around a single idea of “being the best”. He often spoke about how much he loved his players and he used basketball to make them better individuals and ultimately a better team.
As the result of one person's leadership and conviction, Richmond was suddenly thrust onto the national and global scene! HAVOC became synonymous with VCU and VCU became synonymous with winning. This winning basketball program was a public relations gift that we will use as a platform for years to come.
Another byproduct of Shaka's leadership was the immense pride that was instilled in the entire Central Virginia community.
Thank you Maya and Shaka for your contributions on and off the court. You made Richmond a better place for all of us.