Shaka Smart joined the University of Florida coaching staff on June 2 after two successful years as an assistant at Clemson.
Smart helped the Tigers to 49 wins and back-to-back postseason appearances in his two years, including an NCAA Tournament berth in 2008. The Tigers finished with a 24-10 mark before falling to Villanova in the NCAA Tournament and reached the ACC Tournament championship game, falling to North Carolina.
Smart had a positive effect on Clemson's program in his first year, helping the Tigers to a 25-11 overall record and a run to the finals of the NIT. The overall victory total and 17-0 start tied 20-year old Clemson records. Clemson finished in the top 40 of both the Sagarin and RPI computer ratings for the first time in nine years and appeared in the top 25 of the USA Today coaches' poll for eight consecutive weeks.
Akron finished the 2005-06 season with a 23-10 record, its highest victory total since it became a Division I program in 1980-81, and the most by any Akron team since 1971-72. The Zips posted a 14-4 record in the MAC, their highest conference victory total in one season in history, and advanced to the second round of the NIT. It was Akron's first postseason bid in 17 years and the opening round NIT victory over Temple that ended John Chaney's coaching career, was the first Division I postseason win in school history. Akron had a 42-20 overall record under head coach Keith Dambrot, including a 25-11 league record in the two seasons Smart served on his staff.
Smart worked at Dayton for Purnell for two seasons as director of basketball operations, the 2001-02 and 2002-03 seasons. In those two seasons, the Flyers posted a 45-17 record and won the 2003 Atlantic 10 Championship. The squad had a 24-6 record in 2002-03 when it played in the NCAA Tournament, and had a 21-11 mark in 2001-02. The Flyers competed in the NIT that year.
Prior to his time at Dayton and immediately after graduating from college, Smart served as an assistant coach at California University of Pennsylvania. The school had a 40-16 combined record for those two seasons. While he worked at California (PA), Smart earned his master's degree in social science.
Smart played his college basketball at Kenyon College and graduated Magna cum laude in 1999 with a degree in history. A four-year starter and three-year captain, he holds the Kenyon assist record for a season (184) and a career (542). As a senior, he was an All-North Coast Conference selection and was the NCAC Scholar Athlete of the Year. He was one of 20 student-athletes selected for the 1999 USA Today All-USA Academic team and received a NCAA postgraduate scholarship.
Originally hailing from Madison, WI, Smart married the former Maya Payne on May 20, 2006.
Shaka Smart File
|1999-2001||Assistant Coach, California University (Pa.)|
|2001-03||Director of Basketball Operations, Dayton University|
|2003-06||Assistant Coach, Akron|
|2006-08||Assistant Coach, Clemson University|
|2008-present||Assistant Coach, University of Florida|
|Education||Kenyon College, 1999 (cum laude, history)|
|Califonia University (Pa.), 2001 (social science)|
|Family||Married to the former Maya Payne|