A friend of a friend-Shaka Smart and Daniel Roose-February 20

One thing I have learned is that good friends have other good friends. This is a series of stories about “friends of my friends”. The post below is the story for February 20, 2015.

My goal in 2015 is to learn or get re-acquainted with 365 people and doing a daily post on the “the friend of a friend” is helping me get closer to my goal.

In 2007 UNC Pembroke was getting closer to starting a football team that August and we had our former Strength and Conditioning Coach Jeff Bolles resign after receiving his Ph.D. Jeff wanted to pursue a tenure track teaching position at the university and in 2014 he was successful in securing that tenure status. Jeff did a good job for UNCP and many student athletes appreciated his dedication and commitment.

With Jeff leaving we needed to not only to find his replacement but we had to find someone who could take on the challenge of adding football to the current offering of 15 other varsity sports. We needed someone with passion and energy and I was able to hire Daniel Roose away from Marshall University.

Daniel and his beautiful bride Laura were only with us for a short while but he was such a brilliant leader he made an impact that still exist today on our campus. You knew as soon as you met “Coach Roose” you were around greatness.

Daniel stayed with UNCP for two seasons until one day I got a phone call from a Florida Area Code. The person on the other line was the new men’s basketball coach at VCU and he said his name was Shaka Smart. Shaka had been at the University of Florida as Assistant Coach with Billy Donavan and in 2009 was not a household name. I recognized his name and immediately had a feeling I was getting ready to lose Daniel.

Shaka Smart was calling to inquire about hiring Daniel Roose to be his Head Strength and Conditioning Coach at VCU. I had nothing but praise to share with Shaka and told him that he was looking at A++ candidate. I shared with him what Daniel had to do at UNC Pembroke. He was the strength coach for 300 plus athletes and 16 sports and did it with conviction. I told Shaka that hiring Daniel would be a no brainer. I went on to tell him that his energy and the results he had with our student athletes were off the chart. We had Head Coaches that loved what he was doing and I would probably see grown men and women cry if he left us. I told Shaka that when Daniel gets the opportunity to focus his talent on 15 basketball players the results would amp up.

I did not know that I was talking with a future Final Four Coach that spring day in 2009 but I was. I know that Daniel has been a big part of the success the VCU Rams have had over the last 6 years. We miss Daniel at UNCP but are proud of what he and Coach Shaka Smart are accomplishing. When you see VCU play you immediately know they have a system and they call their style of play “havoc”. That conditioning foundation for “havoc” has Daniel’s name all over it.


Daniel Roose


The Friend of the Friend-SHAKA SMART-going thru Seal Training with Daniel Roose

Shaka and Daniel

Daniel Roose and Shaka Smart-Seal Training

Most people that follow college basketball know the name Shaka Smart from VCU. His “Havoc” style of play – a high-octane platform marked by full-court pressure and transition offense – has turned heads for its effectiveness (.749 winning percentage) and watchability (50 straight sellouts, over 90 national TV games in past three years). His methods are also worthy of attention. At the Final Four in Houston in 2011, Smart grabbed headlines for participating in the “Iron Man” drill at practice. The last two years, he’s also joined his players and staff in a week of grueling Navy SEAL training.

Rams strength and conditioning coach Daniel Roose took a SEALs training seminar from John McGuire and he returned to Richmond with a bevy of seemingly brutal drills for his team to endure. Oh, and it’s not just the team. VCU coach Shaka Smart joined in, too, and in doing so required everyone in the program — down to the team’s SID, Scott Day — to get involved.

VCU Seal

Great article in Wall Street Journal of what these guys go thru.


When you see the Rams play you will know that “havoc” is not just a phrase but a way of life for the VCU Rams. Shaka Smart and Daniel Roose make a great team.


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