When Shaka Smart led the Virginia Commonwealth men's basketball team to the 2011 Final Four at age 34 — becoming the second-youngest coach to accomplish the feat — it was only a matter of time before the big-time programs came calling.
Illinois became the latest school to do so last week, but Smart turned down the offer and will remain at VCU for the 2012-13 season, CBS Sports' Gary Parrish reports.
"I can report that Shaka Smart has turned down Illinois for a final time and will stay at VCU," Parrish tweeted Wednesday.
Smart was reportedly the top choice for the Fighting Illini's head coaching position, which became vacant when the school fired Bruce Weber on March 9 after 10 seasons. Smart was reportedly offered the North Carolina State head coaching job after last season, but he turned it down after VCU gave him an eight-year contract extension worth roughly $1.2 million per year.
The third-year coach has an 84-27 record in three years with VCU, including two NCAA tourney appearances. He also led the Rams to the CBI championship in 2009-10.