Padgett talks about first days as head coach of Cards - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Padgett talks about first days as head coach of Cards

Padgett overlooks practice as history hangs on the walls. (Source: WAVE 3 News) Padgett overlooks practice as history hangs on the walls. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Padgett says while the team is doing great, they need four coaches. (Source: WAVE 3 News) Padgett says while the team is doing great, they need four coaches. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Assistant coaches Jordan Fair (left) and Kenny Johnson (right) are still employed but not working. (Source: UofL Athletics Dept.) Assistant coaches Jordan Fair (left) and Kenny Johnson (right) are still employed but not working. (Source: UofL Athletics Dept.)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Less than a week since taking on one of the most difficult and awkward jobs in college basketball, acting UofL Basketball Coach David Padgett managed some levity at a press conference Wednesday.

"Excuse me I'm losing my voice. Now I know why Coach Pitino used to wear a microphone to practice," Padgett said.

The press conference was the first time he spoke as head coach, one week after Rick Pitino was all but fired in the wake of the FBI bribery probe that has shaken the college basketball world to its core.

Padgett said he has not talked to Pitino since Pitino addressed the team before leaving. The Hall of Famer was placed on unpaid administrative leave.

The acting head coach led his fifth practice Wednesday and says he does believe Pitino wants him to focus on this team.

Padgett says it still seems surreal.

"The other night, I think it was 8:00, just in time to see my oldest son goes to bed…I go downstairs and my wife didn't have the tv on. We just sat there on the couch. I literally looked over at her and said, 'Can you believe all this is happening right now?'" Padgett said. "Not in a good way or a bad way. Just the reality. It is what it is."

Padgett says while the team is doing great, they need four coaches.

Acting athletic director Vince Tyra said Wednesday assistants Kenny Johnson and Jordan Fair are still employed, but not working in the wake of the FBI investigation. Neither was named in the federal complaint.

Tyra says he's working fast to get answers and get Padgett help.

"I met with compliance to get up to speed on our situation here," Tyra said. "To dig deep. What do they know? What do we know on hand?"

In the meantime, Padgett's parents flew in. He's leaning on his dad Pete, a coach, for support.

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"My dad was a longtime high school basketball coach," Padgett said. "He coached me. And he obviously knows me better than anyone besides my wife or my mom. Right now I just need him to be my dad."

Legendary Cardinal Coach Denny Crum said on WAVE 3 Listens Live he thinks Padgett having his father by his side is a great move.

"Just to get somebody to give you a little advice when you need it and to tell you you're doing the right things," Crum said, adding, "I would be honored to help him in any way I could."

Tyra said Wednesday he would love to have Coach Crum and former players come by and support Padgett.

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