The looming Texas basketball coaching search to replace the recently departed Shaka Smart has generated a lot of discussions not just on the Forty Acres of late, but around the entire college hoops landscape. Texas saw Smart get hired back on March 26 with the Marquette Golden Eagles to become their next head coach, which might’ve come before this program would buy him out anyway.
Smart avoided the decision that would’ve had to come down from Texas athletic director Chris del Conte at some point early in the offseason. CDC would’ve had to address the hot seat discussion looming once again around Smart if he stuck around for much longer.
Instead, Smart will become the Golden Eagles’ next head coach after their former head coach Steve Wojciechowski was let go from the program last week. And it came without the Longhorns having to buy him out for the two years remaining on his current contract.
That really is a win-win scenario for all parties involved.
Looking forward for Texas basketball post-Shaka Smart
Smart and the Longhorns weren’t a good fit in the end. The looming Texas coaching search does mean that the focus of the direction of the program comes to the forefront for CDC and this school’s administration.
And to say that there are some voices around the media landscape questioning the Longhorns athletic administration is somewhat of an understatement. After the departures of Smart for the basketball program and Tom Herman from the football program, Texas is in a transition period for their athletic department this calendar year.
This is going to be a year where CDC has to get his hires right so that the two most profitable teams at Texas can start finding more success when it matters most. Herman and Smart were plagued by similar issues in not being able to win games on big stages that should’ve been able to.
Jake Winderman of CBS Sports questioned the work of the administration on the Forty Acres after the departure of Smart in a recent post on his Twitter timeline this week. He stated that it has to be an “administration or happiness issue” that is going on for head coaches like Smart and Herman with the Longhorns.
We’ll have to wait and see if it really is a problem with the Longhorns that stems hire than just the football or men’s hoops head coaches.
Texas finished up with a record of 19-8 (11-6 Big 12) following their upset loss in the Round of 64 to the 14-seed Abilene Christian Wildcats back on March 20 by just a one-point margin. Smart finished up his run as Texas head coach with a postseason record of 0-3.