LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- University of Louisville interim men's basketball coach David Padgett named a new member to his staff Thursday afternoon, even as Interim Athletics Director Vince Tyra spoke about the turmoil the team has endured this past week and looked ahead to the future.
Padgett named Greg Paulus as a new assistant basketball coach during a news conference with reporters.
Paulus has worked on the basketball staffs at Ohio State and Navy a combined seven years. Most recently, Paulus was an assistant coach at Ohio State after serving as the program's video coordinator for two years. He played basketball at Duke for four years before transferring to Syracuse for graduate school where he played quarterback on the Orange's football team.
"His background and his reputation speak for itself, not only as a coach but as a player," Padgett said during the press conference, describing Paulus as, "a huge asset to our program."
Paulus described his reaction when Padgett contacted him.
"I was excited," he said. "I was hoping that he would reach out, and when we connected, I was certainly very excited."
Paulus added that he was undeterred by the shadow of the recent scandals that resulted in the ousting of former head men's basketball coach Rick Pitino and former athletics director Tom Jurich.
"It's a tremendous opportunity," he said. "The opportunity to be a part of this university, the community. The tradition in this basketball program is outstanding. Getting a chance to spend time with Coach Padgett, with his leadership, getting the chance to meet the players -- just a really impressive group. That's something that I really wanted to be a part of."
Tyra spoke at the end of the press conference, saying that he met with the coaches earlier on Thursday and it "went well." He also called Thursday a "day of healing."
"We have a lot of emotion going on -- particularly today," Tyra said. "There's going to be a day of healing for sure. I mean, guys are going to go in-and-out of offices and chat with each other, and I'm good with that. It's human nature, right?"
When asked about a report that all employees of the men's basketball team have been ordered to have no communication with Pitino, Tyra offered a word of caution.
"The direction we've given to the organization is that there's a federal investigation going on, so it wouldn't be wise for us to interfere with that," Tyra said. "So I think that's our view: the direction is be careful about where you're communicating for obvious reasons."
Tyra said he has not spoken with Jurich since his firing on Wednesday.
"I think in lieu of the circumstances, Tom needs to breathe and think about what's going on in his life," Tyra said. "He doesn't need the undue influence of talking with me at this point. I'm sure in time we will, but today is probably not that day."
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