University of Louisville Interim Men’s Basketball Coach David Padgett will not be retained in the position. The announcement was made Wednesday.
The former U of L assistant coach was thrust into the job in October after the firing of Rick Pitino, who was terminated following allegations of recruiting violations that surfaced in an FBI investigation.
Padgett led the Cardinals to a 22-14 record this season. U of L was eliminated in the quarterfinal round of the National Invitation Tournament Tuesday night with a loss to Mississippi State.
“I’m going to walk out of this room and hold my head high because I gave this program and these players every single ounce of energy that I had, and they did the same in return,” Padgett said during a news conference Wednesday. “And for them to be able to conduct themselves the way they did makes me feel like I did things the right way by them.”
Padgett, 33, said he’s not sure what’s next for him but he wants to continue coaching. He said he understands the school’s decision and is grateful for the experience.
“I’ve said this dozens of times but the way [my players] made this fun for me is something I’ll always remember and I’ll always treasure,” Padgett said. “It’s a group of 14 players that I’ll always have a special place in my heart for, for a long time.”
In a news release Wednesday afternoon, Interim Athletic Director Vince Tyra praised the interim coach, saying U of L “owes a great debt of gratitude” to Padgett.
“He took over during incredible circumstances, has handled himself respectfully throughout the season and I believe he has a bright future in coaching,” said Tyra.
Tyra said U of L expects to determine a new head coach “in a short period.”