Smart replaces Steve Wojciechowski, who was sacked last week after seven seasons with the Golden Eagles.
“We undertook a comprehensive national research, during which we discussed our openness with a significant number of highly qualified coaches,” Marquette athletic director Bill School said in a statement. “Throughout the search, one individual kept climbing to the top and that was Shaka. I am more than delighted for our current and future student-athletes who will have the great chance to be mentored by Shaka. He’s a great teacher of the game, while also being a great builder of young men. ”
Smart said in a statement, “I am extremely excited to arrive in Milwaukee to start building relationships and getting down to business on the ground! ”
One of Texas’ main targets to replace Smart is expected to be Texas Tech coach Chris Beard, who traveled to Texas and was a student assistant for the Longhorns under Tom Penders. His buyout to go to another Big 12 school drops to $ 4 million on Thursday, sources told ESPN.
Smart, a native of Wisconsin, had been the Texas head coach for six seasons. The Longhorns have gone to three NCAA tournaments under Smart but have yet to win an NCAA tournament game with him at the helm. They won the Big 12 tournament earlier this month, but were later upset by 14-seeded Abilene Christian in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
Smart had been in the hot seat in Austin for two years, but the pandemic likely saved him after the 2019-20 season. His buyout after this season for Texas was said to have been around $ 7 million.
Prior to taking over from Texas, Smart was the head coach of VCU, leading the Rams to five consecutive NCAA tournament appearances, including a Final Four in 2011.