- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Shaka Smart signed an eight-year contract worth $1.2 million annually with Virginia Commonwealth University on Monday, nearly three months after leading the school to the Final Four.

A copy of the contract obtained by The Washington Times shows how lucrative VCU’s unexpected postseason run was for the 34-year-old Smart.

Smart’s base salary was bumped from $325,000 to $450,000, along with $60,000 in deferred compensation. That’s accompanied by $700,000 in “supplemental income” paid in quarterly installments of $175,000 each year. The payments start July 1.

Smart has only two seasons of experience as a head coach — VCU is 55-21 under him — but became a popular candidate for other openings after guiding the No. 11 seed to the Final Four.

If Smart leaves for another job during the first year of the contract, he owes a $800,000 buyout. That amount is reduced by $100,000 each year.

There’s another caveat if Smart departs. He is obligated to schedule a two-year home-and-home series between his new school and VCU that starts within a year of his resignation. The new employer could buy out the series for $250,000.

But the contract makes getting rid of Smart very expensive for VCU. If he’s terminated without cause during the contract’s first year, Smart gets $750,000. After that year, the university’s buyout skyrockets to $750,000 for each year remaining on Smart’s contract.

Two pages of bonuses include boosts for returning to the NCAA tournament (1.5 months base salary), winning the national championship (two months base salary), beating Richmond ($2,000) and players graduating by the summer their eligibility is completed ($4,000 per player).

The contract also provides a $10,000 clothing allowance for Smart and a university car.