For just the third time since 1971, Louisville has a new head men’s basketball coach.
David Padgett was announced as the interim coach of the Cardinals during a press conference Friday evening. Padgett, who played for U of L from 2005-08 and has been a member of the staff since 2014, takes over for Hall of Famer Rick Pitino. Pitino was fired on Wednesday amid news of the program’s involvement in a fraud and corruption scandal that was unearthed by the FBI.
After spending one season at Kansas, Padgett transferred to Louisville where he instantly became a fan favorite. He earned All-Big East honors in each of his three seasons with the Cardinals, and was the driving force behind a run to the Elite Eight in 2008. After spending two seasons playing professional basketball abroad, he began his coaching career by serving as an assistant at IUPUI for three seasons.
More important than any of this is the fact that Padgett becomes the first former Card Chronicle Person of the Year to serve as Louisville’s head basketball coach. Rick Pitino might have the Hall of Fame and all those other accomplishments, but he was never CC POY. Does that mean I’m predicting a national championship in 2018? No ... but yes.
Like I said earlier today, as difficult as it might be, let’s just try to enjoy the actual games and the ride of the season once it gets going. Everything is going to change after this season. Try not to think about it. The players deserve that much. Also, this is a talented roster that’s still going to be NCAA tournament-eligible (I would assume). As frustrated as all of us might be with the current state of things, the Yum Center ought to be packed and rowdy all winter long.
I am not at all prepared for the “head coach is younger than you are and you actually blogged about him playing in college” era of Louisville basketball, but here we are.
Let’s do this, David.