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Sweet 16 Trip Might Cost Richmond And VCU Their Head Coaches

Don't get me wrong, I don't think either team, University or fanbase would complain about it, but getting to the Sweet 16 might cost Richmond and VCU their head coaches. When a big name program fires their head coach at this time of year, any small program coach who enjoys some success in the tournament immediately vaults to the top of the list of candidates. This year, two of the hottest names just happen to reside in Richmond.

Richmond coach Chris Mooney and VCU's Shaka Smart have both become household names by leading their teams to the Sweet 16. So what happens once their Cinderella runs are over?

Richmond and VCU might both lose their coaches to bigger name programs. And it is something both Schools understand that, according to Darren Rovell.

"These coaches become hot instantly," (Richmond athletic director Jim) Miller said. "It's the nature of the beast. You can't blame the coaches, you just have to start thinking about putting together the right package to make them want to come back."

VCU has lost two coaches in the past five years to major programs. Jeff Capel left to coach at Oklahoma in 2006, and Anthony Grant went to Alabama in 2009.

VCU athletic director Norwood Teague knows he doesn't want to lose his up-and-coming coach, 32-year-old Shaka Smart, whose $350,000 contract will be closer to $400,000 when all the postseason bonuses are added up.

"It is what it is," said Teague, whose team plays Florida State for a spot in the Elite Eight on Friday night. "He's a great CEO, a game changer, and we're going to do what we can to keep him."

It's just one of the side effects of success, or at least achieving it at a small program, I suppose.