Kenny Johnson will leave Indiana to join Rick Pitino's staff at Louisville as an assistant coach, a source confirmed to Card Chronicle Monday night. The news was first broken by Jeff Ermann of InsideMdSports.com. An official announcement from U of L is expected on Tuesday.
Johnson coached under Tom Crean at Indiana for the past two seasons after spending one year as an assistant at Towson. Over that time, he has developed a reputation for being one of the best recruiters in the country. He was instrumental in IU landing 2014 stars James Blackmon and Robert Johnson, as well as a 2013 recruiting class that ranked in the top 5 nationally.
A coach with the nationally-known Team Takeover (Washington D.C.) AAU squad for several years, Johnson has an especially large presence in the mid-Atlantic and New England areas. With Team Takeover, he helped groom former Indiana stars Victor Oladipo and Maurice Creek.
Johnson, who was also courted heavily by Maryland (his alma mater), will fill the void left by Kevin Keatts, who accepted the head coaching job at UNC-Wilimington last month. Johnson had been making around $200,000 a year at Indiana, but according to the Indianapolis Star, U of L was able to offer him a significant pay raise.
This is big, big news for Louisville. Ask anyone who follows recruiting, and Johnson will be one the first three or four names they mention when they talk about the best recruiting assistants in the country. You should not doubt for a moment whether or not you should be excited about this hire.
Also, it's safe to say that Jimmy V. Classic game between the Cards and Hoosiers on Dec. 9 just got a tad more interesting.