It was only a matter of time.
On Tuesday, Marquette announced that Shaka Smart’s contract as head coach of the men’s basketball team has been extended. The Wisconsin native originally signed a six year deal in the spring of 2021, and that original deal now runs through the end of the 2029-30 season.
EXTENDED: VP & Director of Athletics @BillScholl announces extension of @CoachShakaSmart contract through 2029-30. Program claimed 2023 @BIGEASTMBB regular season and tourney titles & won school-record 29 games.#MUBB | #WeAreMarquette— Marquette Basketball (@MarquetteMBB) June 6, 2023
RELEASE: ⤵https://t.co/JX4FDAgD29 pic.twitter.com/CLaATEYEhU
Here’s some quotes from the press release. First, athletic director Bill Scholl:
“In a very short period of time, Shaka and his staff have done a tremendous job of establishing a winning culture, both on and off the court,” Scholl said. ”Shaka’s vision for the program is focused on extended, sustainable success. The individuals who interact with the team on a daily basis are able to observe frequent examples of growth and the excitement around the program is contagious.”
And here’s Smart’s quotes:
“My family and I are incredibly thankful for the opportunity to be part of the Marquette community, where relationships, growth and victory truly matter,” Smart said. ”I am grateful for Dr. Lovell and Bill Scholl’s continued belief in our program - and for the ways they support us on a daily basis. Most importantly, I feel extremely fortunate to be around our players and staff every day - we have a special group at Marquette.”
In his first season with the Golden Eagles, Smart revamped nearly the entire roster and produced a 19 win season that led to an appearance in the NCAA tournament. In Year 2, things were better. Marquette won the program’s first ever outright Big East regular season title, then capped that with the program’s first ever Big East tournament title, then they set the program record for wins in a season, too. Along the way, Marquette was ranked as high as #6 in the Associated Press poll and earned a #2 seed in the NCAA tournament, the highest spot in the field since they started seeding it in the late 1970s.
That’s the kind of two year performance that gets your contract extended in a hurry, and that’s why Smart’s contract runs for another seven seasons now.
As to be expected, the financial terms of the deal are not public because Marquette doesn’t have to do that because they’re a private institution. However, Andrei Greska over at Paint Touches did the tax document digging recently, and that’s how we know that Smart earned $2.1 million in his first full fiscal year in charge of the program. This is an extension of his existing contract, so it’s safe to say that there’s at the very least a yearly salary bump of some kind that’s carried through every year of the deal.
As for what’s next for the Golden Eagles under Smart’s direction? Marquette will return four of their five starters next season — Olivier-Maxence Prosper is in the NBA Draft and appears to be headed towards a first round pick — and so they’ll be amongst the contenders for the Big East title as well as an early season national title contender. Not too bad for Year 3, that’s for sure.