The Texas Longhorns basketball team is reeling following a 65-57 loss to Kansas in the Big 12 Tournament. With the team likely out of the NCAA tournament, the future of head coach Shaka Smart has come into question. Texas’ athletic director might soon be the one answering those questions.
Per Stadium, when speaking to the media following the loss to the Jayhawks, Texas athletic director Chris Del Conte refused to comment on Smart’s job status. He did, however, speak glowingly about his embattled basketball coach.
“I won’t comment on that,” Del Conte said. “We’re right in the middle of the season. That’s crazy. Shaka’s our coach. He’s an awesome coach. … That’s ludicrous talk.”
With a 16-16 record in the 2018-19 season, Smart has failed to get the Longhorns above .500 for the second time in three years. The team has not finished better than fourth in the conference since his first year at Texas in the 2015-16 season.
As head coach of VCU from 2009 to 2015, Smart led the Rams to two conference titles, five straight NCAA tournaments, a trip to the Final Four in 2011, and a CBI Championship in 2010.
But his success at VCU has not translated into success with Texas.
In four years with the Longhorns, Smart has managed to get the team into the NCAA tournament twice, but has yet to win a game in the Round of 64.
His overall record with the team is 66-66.