AUSTIN (KXAN) — Texas announced several additions to Shaka Smart’s staff Thursday, highlighted by a former head coach in the SEC and two assistants who worked under Smart at Virginia Commonwealth University.
The hiring of former South Carolina and Western Kentucky head coach Darrin Horne as an assistant was officially announced. Horne has spent the past three years working for ESPN after South Carolina fired him following the 2003 season. The 42-year-old was 60-63 in four seasons leading the Gamecocks. The Kentucky native led his alma mater Western Kentucky from 2003-2008, leading the Hilltoppers to the Sweet 16 in his final season.
Assistants David Cason and Mike Morrell will follow Smart from VCU to Texas. Cason joined Smart’s staff last season after working on the staff at Vanderbilt. Morrell spent the previous two seasons on the staff at VCU.
Strength coach Daniel Roose also is leaving VCU for a similar position at Texas.
Former Texas player Jai Lucas is the lone holdover from Rick Barnes’ staff. Before playing at Texas from 2009-2011, Lucas played at Florida, where Smart was an assistant coach. Lucas will serve as the director of basketball operations after spending the past two seasons as a special assistant.
Sports communication specialist Danny Kuiper was added as Smart’s special assistant. Kuiper has spent the past 14 years advising teams and coaches on ways to improve communication and chemistry. In a release from the university, Smart described him as, “a coach of our coaches.”