Marquette and Shaka Smart reach an agreement in principle for the Texas coach to replace Steve Wojciechowski

Marquette and Shaka Smart have reached an agreement in principle for the current Texas coach to take over the Golden Eagles job, a source told Gary Parrish of CBS Sports. Smart is a Wisconsin native who has faced increased scrutiny in Texas for his lack of postseason success.

Smart is 109-86 overall in Texas with a 52-56 record in the Big 12 and no wins in the NCAA Tournament. The No. 3 seeded Longhorns were upset in the first round in this year’s NCAA Tournament by No. 14 seed Abilene Christian.

At Marquette, Smart would replace Steve Wojciechowski, who was fired this month after seven seasons at the job. Wojciechowski also failed to advance beyond the first round of the NCAA Tournament during two appearances with the Golden Eagles in 2017 and 2019. Marquette finished this season 13-14 (8-11 Big East).

The move would leave two of the Big 12’s most prominent programs searching for new coaches after rival Oklahoma saw coach Lon Kruger announce his retirement Thursday.

While the Smart switch may seem like a sideways move to some, it would free it from near-constant scrutiny and allow it to return to its original state. Smart is from Madison, Wisconsin.

Hired in 2015 to replace veteran Texas coach Rick Barnes, Smart was considered a rising star at the time due to his success over a six-year stint at VCU.

Although the Longhorns won the 2021 Big 12 Tournament, they had generally struggled in the postseason with Smart. With five-star first-year forward Greg Brown and a veteran group of guards on the roster, the 2020-21 season was supposed to be a breakthrough year. But scoring a season-low 52 points in an unexpected loss to Abilene Christian marked another bitter end.

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