Louisville fans expected it to happen but are still saddened to see David Padgett go.
Despite failing to reach the NCAA Tournament, Padgett navigates the Cardinals program in a first-class way throughout an extremely mentally draining season which included being stripped of the 2013 national championship.
After just one season, Louisville is going in a different direction, with the interim coach set to explore other head coaching opportunities, according to Evan Daniels from 247Sports.
Padgett was officially announced as Louisville’s coach after it was rumored he was offered a six-month contract. The move came after the school dismissed former coach Rick Pitino stemming from an FBI investigation.
Xavier’s Chris Mack was speculated as a potential successor for Padgett following the end to Louisville’s season. Rumors only heated up after Louisville’s interim athletic director reportedly met with Mack.
Under Padgett, Louisville went 22-14 and 9-9 in ACC play. While every loss certainly affected their NCAA Tournament standing, three consecutive losses from late January to early February against No. 2 Virginia, Florida State and Syracuse (all tournament teams) doomed the Cardinals.
After winning its opening ACC Tournament game against Florida State, the Cardinals lost to No. 1 Virginia, 75-58.
Louisville beat No. 7 Northern Kentucky and No. 3 Middle Tennessee in the first two rounds of the NIT Tournament before losing to No. 4 Mississippi State.
Padgett began his college career at Kansas but transferred to Louisville after one season. He played for the Cardinals from 2005-2008.
After a brief professional career overseas, Padgett returned to Louisville for the 2010-11 season as the team’s assistant strength coach. He served as a full-time assistant at IUPUI for three seasons and then returned to Louisville, where he served as the team’s director of basketball operations for two seasons. Padgett was promoted to assistant coach after the 2015-16 season.
Here’s how fans are reacting to Louisville’s decision:
Shout out to David Padgett for stepping up and coaching this team. It wasn’t easy and he kept the players motivated and ready all year through all the crap. He definitely has a bright future as a head coach.
— Austin McDowell (@AustinMcDowell) March 21, 2018
David Padgett is basically a long term girlfriend we just broke up with and now we can’t even see anymore although we saw her every day for years.
— Not Pat Forde (@NahooForde) March 21, 2018
I’m willing to bet David Padgett is going to be Louisville’s headcoach again someday, and I’ll accept it with open arms. He’s a legend
— Lorenzo Venturella (@RenziVent) March 21, 2018
I hope to God that we see David Padgett as UofL Head Coach down the road. Gonna be cheering on Padgett no matter where he’s at. #L1C4
— Kaelan Blevins (@jkaelan) March 21, 2018
David Padgett. 110% class act.
— Derek Kirchner (@kirchmania24) March 21, 2018
David Padgett had an impossible job this season and probably deserved to be in the tournament. Not the greatest end, but I only have good things to say about him. It was a no win situation and he handled it as well as humanly possible. He'll be a good head coach somewhere.
— Johnathan Neumann (@TheMojachi) March 21, 2018
Thank you Coach David Padgett. You're one classy man and will always be a Cardinal. L1C4
— red wave (@dannyh704) March 21, 2018
Whomever brings David Padgett in will quickly see how lucky they are to have him. I'm sad to lose him. Integrity and character in abundance.
— Kristy (@gocardsmama) March 21, 2018
Motion to induct David Padgett into the UofL basketball hall of fame
— Claire 🌒 (@ClaireMcD03) March 21, 2018
I freaking love David Padgett. Wherever he coaches next year, I'll be keeping up. Just a damn good man.
— Taco Heart (@lvilleshawn) March 21, 2018
Best wishes to a guy that did a tremendous job under the very worst of circumstances and never once complained about it. He went about his work with class, grace, and humility…putting the players needs and care above all else. Thank you David Padgett from a grateful Card Nation pic.twitter.com/7gyLIlU30V
— Scott Aleshire (@Cardnul) March 21, 2018