An Open Letter to David Padgett
By Jared Anderson
March 19, 2018
March 19, 2018
Coach David Padgett,
We have reached the back half of March and the men's basketball team is still playing. Granted, it may not be the NCAA Tournament, but you have led the Cards to two wins in the NIT.
On September 29, 2017, you were named the acting head coach for the Louisville men's basketball team, just the third head coach at Louisville in 46 seasons. You were following in the footsteps of some of the biggest names in college basketball history in Denny Crum and Rick Pitino.
How you came to your position was not pretty. The basketball program was dealing with a pair of scandals that resulted in the departure of athletic director Tom Jurich and head coach Rick Pitino. Within a day of the announcement practice began. The players, the coaches, and the staff all looked to you.
You were up front and honest from the start. You did not beat around the bush trying to avoid questions. The media was ready to give you everything you could handle and you did not falter.
Although a trip to the NCAA Tournament did not happen, this season was nowhere near a failure. This team started 5-0. They won a road game against a Top 25 opponent, when Louisville upset Florida State in Tallahassee. This team won its first ever ACC Tournament game. This team finished with a winning record. They are still fighting in the post-season.
Coach, you gave fans hope. The world seemed to come crashing down when the NCAA took the 2013 Championship banner. You made this team find a way to win afterwards. Fans could have easily given up and turned away from the NIT. But they didn't. The KFC Yum! Center was not at full capacity for either game, but the crowd in attendance has been the loudest, most energetic group I have seen at a game in a long time. Fans were having such a great time last game that the wave began and continued for quite some time.
I know there were a few folks out there calling for your head at different points this season, but that did not affect you. I do not find anything you have done as a reason to send you packing. In fact, I am quite impressed by everything, especially when considering that you have no head coaching experience, and have been an assistant coach at Louisville for only one season. In your two years as the director of operations you helped keep the program together while bad news came flying in from left to right.
Whether the University of Louisville Athletics program decides to hire you as the full-time head coach or sends you onto the next step in your basketball journey; I appreciate everything that you have done. I thank you for stepping up at the last minute, for your honesty, for not giving up, and most importantly; for giving us hope.
On behalf of all Louisville fans I would like to say "Thank You" for everything that you have done. Wherever life takes you following the outcome of this season, you will always be a Louisville Cardinal and you will always be welcomed home.