David Padgett named interim U of L head basketball coach
Padgett, 32, played at U of L from 2005 to 2008 and has had two coaching stints at the university.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Assistant University of Louisville basketball coach David Padgett was named the program's interim head coach on Friday, two days after Rick Pitino was suspended indefinitely.
Padgett, 32, played at U of L from 2005 to 2008 and has had two coaching stints at the university, starting as an assistant strength coach during the 2010-11 season. He was the director of basketball operations from 2014 to 2016, serving since then as an assistant coach.
Speaking on the Belknap Campus at a late afternoon news conference, Padgett said his emphasis is on the team's players who begin practice this weekend.
"I'm trying to make this about the team this year. ... This is not about me," he said.
After he was introduced by interim U of L president Greg Postel, Padgett largely declined to address aspects of the federal probe alleging that recruits at U of L and other schools received money from shoe companies and other third parties to attend certain schools.
Federal prosecutors claim that at least one U of L basketball coach helped funnel money to the family of a prospective recruit this summer.
But Padgett said he is confident he won't be named in the investigation. "I don't think Dr. Postel would have the confidence to put me up in this position if he was worried about anything," he said.
He declined to answer, citing the ongoing federal investigation, when asked: "Did you know any of that stuff was happening?"
He also declined to say if assistant coaches Jordan Fair and Kenny Johnson are working with the team, saying a decision on his staff would be made once an interim athletic director is named. Postel also said Friday that he expects to name an interim athletics director early next week.
"We might be a little shorthanded here for a while," Padgett said.
He said a contract details, including how long he would coach, haven't been finalized.
Postel suspended Pitino and athletics director Tom Jurich on Wednesday, one day after the university was tied to a federal bribery investigation into college basketball recruiting.
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