David Padgett the assistant basketball coach of the Louisville Cardinals was named as the acting head coach on Friday only two days after the university placed Rick Pitino on unpaid administrative leave when Pitino was linked to a corruption investigation by federal law enforcement that has sent shock waves through college basketball.
Late Friday afternoon the announcement of Padgett to acting head coach was made by Greg Postel the interim president at Louisville.
Padgett, a former player returned to the Louisville program in 2014 as the director of basketball operations. While playing as a Louisville senior in the 2007-2008 season, he averaged 11.2 points a game.
After playing for Louisville, Padgett played overseas two seasons prior to joining the staff at IUPUI and beginning his coaching career.
Postel called Padgett a hard work and that will help him to become extraordinary in his new role.
Upon taking the position, Padgett acknowledged challenges that the program faced this week and said he accepted the job because he was committed to the players who are on the current roster.
Padgett said the team worked out enthusiastically on Wednesday after Pitino and Tom Jurich the former athletic director were put on leave. He added that the player’s attitudes confirmed they were a special group and he expects the supporters of the team to rally around them this season.
Players previously had backed Padgett as the replacement for Pitino when they held a meeting on Wednesday after a workout. After Friday’s news, the players said they were pleased Padgett was chosen.
Padgett said he did not know who will be part of his coaching staff, and will wait until next week when the school names an interim athletic director to finalize his assistants. He did say that he has not spoked with assistants Jordan Fair or Kenny Johnson.
Ten people on Tuesday, who were tied to a corruption scandal that the FBI unveiled, including four assistant coaches with four separates programs in Division I, were arrested. Louisville, Alabama and Miami staffers all have been mentioned following the investigation being unveiled.
Two coaches on the staff at Louisville were cited in FBI documents as working with Jim Gatto an executive with Adidas to funnel over $100,000 to Brian Bowen a five-star recruit.
ABC News on Thursday confirmed that the Coach-2 mentioned in the documents released by the FBI and who had spoken several times with Gatto and requested this transaction that allegedly sealed the commitment by Bowen to play for the team.