By Bill Lamb
WDRB President and General Manager
While U of L fans celebrate the announcement of a new head basketball coach, it's important not to forget the accomplishments of the man who guided the program through some of its darkest hours -- David Padgett.
Appointed interim head coach following the firings of Rick Pitino and Tom Jurich -- and just days before the official start of practice -- Padgett inherited a situation that was not only unprecedented but full of potential for failure.
Would his team respond to a rookie head coach after the dismissal of a Hall of Famer? Could a man not really all that much older than his players win their respect and attention? And could he earn the support of fans understandably frustrated by the circus of controversy surrounding the program?
While a minority of fans did find other places to be on game nights, for the most part, the answers to those questions are yes, yes and yes. Padgett showed dignity and class. He gave full commitment to his job from beginning to end. And he proved to be pretty darned good at it too, earning 22 wins in a season in which almost everything was stacked against him.
Now, David Padgett's future will unfold somewhere else. But he'll always be remembered here by real U of L fans as something special. And Louisville owes him a big debt of gratitude.
I'm Bill Lamb and that’s my Point of View.
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