(WSCR) As Illinois continues its search for a new head coach, new athletic director Mike Thomas is after one guy.

Shaka Smart.

According to a report, money will be of no consequence in Illinois’ pursuit of VCU’s Smart.

“They’re going to make damn sure they don’t let him get away,’’ a source told the Sun-Times.

The report indicates Smart recently signed an eight-year contract last spring worth about $1.21 million a year. The buyout on that deal would be $800,000 this year for Smart, who took 12th seeded VCU to 29 wins and the round of 32 this year despite losing four starters.


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