DES MOINES, Iowa (WDRB) – On Monday, word percolated in the coaching grapevine that North Carolina State was considering Kenny Johnson of the University of Louisville for an assistant coaching opening.

On Tuesday, the story advanced in a different direction. U of L’s Rick Pitino announced that he had promoted Johnson to associate head coach.

“Kenny is a five-star coach, five-star recruiter and a five-star person,” Pitino said in a statement released by the school.  “We want him to remain a part of our family for the coming years.”

“I believe in the integrity of Coach Pitino and it is an honor to continue to be a part of the program that he leads,” said Johnson, who signed a new two-year agreement with U of L. 

“I love this program and what it means to so many great people.  Just as a legion of supporters have had our back and continue to have our back, so shall I have theirs.  L1C4.”

Johnson just completed his second season at U of L, which hired him from Indiana. He has strong recruiting connections on the East Coast and was the lead recruiter for V.J. King, Louisville’s top signee in the Class of 2016.

But it’s March and the coaching carousel spins relentlessly this time of the year. One source said Johnson’s name has also been mentioned with another job – the head coaching position at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va.

The program fired its coach, Matt Brady, Monday. James Madison competes in the Colonial Athletic Association and finished 21-11 this season, the eighth for Brady.

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