AUSTIN, Texas — A former point guard at Virginia Commonwealth University under Shaka Smart, Darius Theus (pronunciation: THEE-us) has been named the Director of Player Development at The University of Texas, Smart announced Thursday. The 27-year-old Theus will begin his role immediately and fills the position held by Mike Morrell, who was promoted to assistant coach in March.
“We are really excited to have Darius join our coaching staff.” Smart said. “He is the all-time winningest player in VCU history and knows what goes into winning at a high level. Darius was a great leader on the court, and he will be an excellent mentor for our players off the court to help move them forward in both basketball and as well-rounded people.”
Theus served this past year (2016-17) as Men’s Basketball Director of Student-Athlete Development at VCU. In that role, he focused on the off-court development of VCU men’s basketball student-athletes. The Rams registered a 26-9 mark (14-4 Atlantic 10 Conference) and advanced to the NCAA Tournament First Round in 2016-17.
“As a player, I always believed in what Coach Smart was about,” Theus said. “Everything he believed in, I believed in. I told him several years ago when I stopped playing, I wanted to work for him and be a part of his coaching staff. This is the perfect time to make this transition.
“Of course, The University of Texas has one of the top basketball programs in the country,” Theus continued. “Being a former player for him, I know what Coach Smart wants from his players. I’m ready to jump right in here, get in our players’ ears and make sure they understand his message to move themselves and this program forward.”
During his four seasons playing under Smart at VCU (2010-13), Theus helped lead the Rams to three NCAA Tournament appearances, including a run to the Final Four in 2011. VCU compiled an overall record of 111-37 (.750) in Theus’ four years, winning at least 27 games in each of his four seasons. He is the all-time winningest player (111 victories) in school history.
Theus ranks third in school history in career steals (237) and sixth in career assists (462), and his 85 steals as a senior in 2012-13 rank fourth on the VCU single-season chart. He earned a spot on the 2013 Atlantic 10 All-Defensive Team in his senior season.
As a junior in 2011-12, Theus earned Third Team All-Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) honors and claimed CAA Tournament Most Valuable Player accolades while leading the Rams to the tournament championship. He capped off the league tournament run with a 16-point, 5-assist, 5-steal performance during the 59-56 win against Drexel in the championship game. In the first round of the 2012 NCAA Tournament, Theus hit a floater with 18 seconds remaining to seal a 62-59 win against No. 5 seed Wichita State in Portland.
Theus (born Dec. 1, 1990) is a native of Portsmouth, Va. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from VCU in 2013. Following…