RICHMOND, Va. — As reports swirl that VCU men’s basketball coach Shaka Smart will travel to Austin, Texas Thursday to meet with the University of Texas about its open head coaching job, one VCU super fan is using a lesson he learned from Coach Smart to turn a potentially negative situation into a positive one for VCU fans.
When news of Smart’s Texas trip broke Wednesday night, Chris “Pav” Crowley – known to fans as the guy in in the Rams’ horns – created the social media hashtag #LoveForCoachSmart.
“If there is one thing that Coach Smart has taught us, it is to be positive even when things seem not to be going your way,” Crowley said. “The hashtag #shakawatch to me has very negative connotations.”
Crowley said fans considered #shakawatch a “here we go again” type joke and called it disrespectful for people to call Coach Smart — Shaka.
“You would never see someone talk about ‘Mike’ at Duke or ‘Tom’ at Michigan State,” Crowley said.
That is why he created the #LoveForCoachSmart hashtag.
“I want to turn the conversation positive. I don’t know if Coach is going to stay at VCU forever, or leave tonight, but that isn’t what is most important. What is, is that we show our appreciation for what he has done and let he and Mrs. Smart know that we love them. We love VCU, and we love what they have done for VCU and for RVA. While we hope they will be here forever, we love them regardless.”
VCU Rams fans have responded to Crowley’s positive message.