Nov. 7, 2016
GAMBIER, Ohio — University of Texas Head Basketball Coach Shaka Smart will deliver the Commencement address at his alma mater, Kenyon College, on May 20, 2017.
“Shaka Smart is not only a brilliant coach, but a true advocate for the value of the liberal arts and the importance of the classroom experience for student athletes,” Kenyon College President Sean Decatur said. “I’m thrilled to welcome him back to Gambier as we celebrate the Class of 2017.
Smart rose to fame by leading the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Rams to an unexpected Final Four appearance in the 2011 NCAA Tournament. The Rams upset several high-seeded teams, beating the top-seeded University of Kansas to win a spot in the Final Four before finally being defeated 70-62 by the Butler University Bulldogs. Smart moved to Austin in 2015 to coach the Texas Longhorns.
At Kenyon, a top liberal arts school located in central Ohio, Smart majored in history, graduating magna cum laude. During his distinguished career on the Lords basketball team, Smart became the program’s career leader in assists (542). In his senior season, he was named to the All-North Coast Athletic Conference team and was selected as a member of the USA Today All-USA Academic Team.