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RICHMOND, Va. – With the 2011-12 athletic calendar complete for VCU, we here at VCUathletics.com thought we would try to recap what was a year full of thrills, excitement and another year of growth for the movement known as Ram Nation.
After a long debate, some wrestling matches and name-calling, our crew came up with the top-25 stories from VCU Athletics in 2011-12, which we will unveil one-by-one of the course of the next 25 business days (Monday-Friday).
If you have any thoughts or comments, our Twitter handle is @VCUAthletics, we’d love to hear from you.
Today, we look at #10 on our countdown.
#10 - Smart stiff arms wooers, remains at VCU
With many other universities circling like vultures over VCU's Monroe Park Campus in attempts to woe VCU men's basketball Head Coach Shaka Smart away from Ram Nation, Smart announced on March 21 that he would remain with the Black & Gold and was not pursuing any coaching offers.
"I am very grateful for the support and belief in the coaching staff and basketball program that comes from the very top of our university's leadership -- President Rao, Athletic Director Norwood Teague and the VCU Board of Visitors – as well as our phenomenal fans," Smart said. "There are great things to accomplish at VCU and I'm looking forward to building on the successes of our program and university."
After VCU's historic run to the Final Four in 2011, this season
Smart and his staff led one of the youngest teams in the country to
a school record 29 wins and the 2012 Colonial Athletic Association
Championship. Backing the Rams all year long was a fan base that
packed the Verizon Wireless Arena at the Stuart C. Siegel Center
for every game, making VCU one of only five NCAA teams to sell out
every home game this season.
Smart has led the Black and Gold to 84 wins, the second most in the first three years of any head coach in NCAA history. He has led the Rams to two NCAA Tournaments and has helped bolster VCU's national reputation with a total of 57 games being televised over the past two seasons.