LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Louisville assistant David Padgett was named acting head coach of the program on Friday, just two days after Rick Pitino was placed on unpaid administrative leave after being linked to a federal corruption investigation that has rocked college basketball.
Interim president Greg Postel announced the hire during a late-afternoon news conference on campus.
Padgett, a former player who returned to the program as director of basketball operations in 2014, averaged 11.2 points per game as a senior at Louisville during the 2007-08 season. The former prep All-American played overseas for two seasons before joining IUPUI’s staff and commencing his coaching career.
“David is known by all as a hard worker,” Postel said. “These are the kinds of things that will allow him to be extraordinary in this role.”
Padgett acknowledged the challenges the program has faced this week. He said he accepted the role because of his commitment to the players on the roster.
Padgett said players had an enthusiastic workout Wednesday after Pitino and former athletic director Tom Jurich were placed on leave. He said their attitude confirmed “they’re a special group” that he expects the team’s supporters to rally around this season.
Players had previously backed Padgett as Pitino’s replacement when they meet Wednesday after a conditioning workout.
“He’s been in this system,” center