David Padgett, a member of the University of Louisville basketball staff for the last three years and a former three-year starter at center for the Cardinals, has been named acting head men’s basketball coach at UofL.
“David Padgett was an exceptional player and has been an outstanding young coach for the Cardinals,” said UofL Interim President Greg Postel. “His familiarity with the players and the current system, combined with his character and work ethic, make him a natural fit for the position. We look forward to a successful year under his leadership.”
Postel noted that Padgett had the strong support of the current Cardinals team.
Padgett was UofL’s director of basketball operations for two seasons (2014-16) before his move to an assistant coaching position in 2016. He becomes just the third head coach for the Cardinals in the last 46 years, following Rick Pitino (2001-17) and Denny Crum (1971-2001).
In his three seasons on the UofL staff, the Cardinals have produced a collective 75-26 record (.743), finished among the top four teams in the ACC in each year and reached the NCAA Elite Eight in 2015. Last year, UofL posted a 25-9 record, tied for second in the ACC and earned a No. 10 ranking in the final Associated Press poll. Padgett helped the Cardinals assemble a top 10 recruiting class in 2017. UofL’s class was ranked seventh in the nation by ESPN, Rivals and 247Sports, while the Cardinals were 10th in Scout.com. rankings.
Before joining the UofL staff, Padgett spent three years as an assistant coach at IUPUI from 2011 to 2014. He served a year as assistant strength coach with the Cardinals in 2010-11 as UofL posted a 25-10 mark, beat seven ranked teams and reached the title game of the Big East Championship.
Padgett played professional basketball for UB LaPalma in the Canary Islands for two years following his graduation from UofL. He had reached the final preseason cut of the Miami Heat before his playing career in Spain.
A three-year starter and captain at center for the Cardinals (2005-08), Padgett was a unanimous first-team All-Big East Conference selection as a senior and earned USBWA All-District IV honors. He averaged a team-leading 11.2 points and grabbed 4.8 rebounds his senior year in 2007-08 when the Cardinals reached the NCAA Elite Eight.
Padgett ranks second in career field goal percentage at UofL, hitting 61.3 percent of his shots (332-542). His .667 field goal percentage as a senior was the second best ever at UofL. He set a Big East Conference field goal percentage record for league games as a senior, hitting 68.3 percent of his shots in the 18 games (86-of-126). He was a second team All-Big East pick as a junior.
A McDonald’s All-American in high school in Reno, Nevada, Padgett played his freshman collegiate season at Kansas before transferring to Louisville. He was the 2003 Nevada Player of the Year and the top rated center in that year’s recruiting class. He was a member of the 2004 USA Basketball Junior World Championship Qualifying Team that claimed a gold medal.
Padgett’s basketball bloodlines run deep as his father played at the University of Nevada and his uncle played at New Mexico. His grandfather Jim played for Oregon State and his sister played for the University of San Diego.
Padgett and his wife, Megan, have two sons: Nolan, born in August 2013; and Gavin, born in May 2016.
Watch the press conference announcing Padgett below: