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David Padgett named interim head coach for Louisville basketball

Former Cardinal basketball player takes over after Rick Pitino ‘effectively fired’.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Second Round-Michigan vs Louisville Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The Louisville athletic department announced Friday afternoon that former Cardinal basketball star would take over the program as interim head coach.

Rick Pitino was “effectively fired” by the Louisville interim president after it appeared members of the UL basketball program were involved in the bribery scandal that rocked the college basketball world on Tuesday. Pitino’s lawyers seemed to be ready to fight the termination (Pitino would be due $44 million if his termination was deemed a breach of contract), but by Thursday, reports surfaced that not only was Pitino aware of the bribes, but he was “Coach-2” in the FBI indictment.

Padgett is already an employee of Louisville University, acting as the Director of Basketball Operations, a position he took over in 2014. His only prior coaching experience is at IUPUI, where he was an assistant coach for three years.

After initially being recruited by and playing for Roy Williams at Kansas for his freshman year, Padgett departed the Jayhawks for Louisville before his sophomore year when Williams took the job at UNC.

At Louisville as a player, Padgett started three seasons and finished his career as a Cardinal with a 61.3% field goal percentage, which is good for second in school history. After graduating in 2008, Padgett played in Spain for two seasons (one of which was with the team that Mike Tobey just helped win a title).

The 32-year old former McDonald’s All-American will have his work cut out for him as he takes over a team with lofty expectations that will face Virginia (twice), Duke, North Carolina (and his old coach), and Kentucky.