New Texas head coach Shaka Smart issues special invitation to former players (VIDEO)

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When it comes to head coaching hires in college basketball, much is made about the importance of recruiting especially if the new head coach comes in from a school outside of that particular region. That’s one of the key for new Texas head coach Shaka Smart, who will look to reel in some of the state’s top talent and bring the program to a prominent place in the college basketball landscape (and keep it there).

What’s also important is to connect with the former players, whose hard work makes a program such as Texas an attractive one to a coach of Smart’s caliber. Saturday the school posted a video of Smart issuing an invitation to former letterwinners, thanking them for their work at the school while also letting them know that the doors are open for them to return for games, practices or to simply say hello.

Former players are critical to the recruiting process, as words of praise from them can help a head coach make inroads with some of the top talents in the area. This is a good first step for Smart, and it’s one that new coaches across the country look to make every spring. Because if the former players don’t feel welcome, one can’t expect them to be willing to sell recruits on the program.