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David Padgett hires ex-head coach Trent Johnson as assistant

Men's College Basketball, Louisville Cardinals

Louisville acting head coach David Padgett, who took over the program two days after Rick Pitino was placed on unpaid administrative leave, has hired longtime head coach Trent Johnson as assistant coach.

Also Wednesday, the Cardinals announced they have "parted ways" with Jordan Fair, one of two assistant coaches who was placed on administrative leave in the wake of a federal corruption investigation involving the program. The other assistant, Kenny Johnson, remains on paid administrative leave.

Padgett, 32, has no head-coaching experience and has been an assistant coach at Louisville for one season. Johnson, 61, has been a Division I head coach for 17 seasons at Nevada, Stanford, LSU and TCU. 

Johnson and Padgett were familiar with each other from when Padgett was playing high school basketball at Reno High and Johnson was the head coach at Nevada.

Padgett said during a news conference Wednesday that experience was the key factor in his search resulting in Johnson's selection.

"I literally could not have hired a better guy," Padgett said. "He's going to be great for me to lean on from an experience standpoint, a basketball coaching standpoint, and he's going to be absolutely incredible for our guys."

Johnson said he expects to help Padgett through a whirlwind transition of leading one of the nation's elite programs.

"I'm ready to do whatever Coach wants me to do," said Johnson, who was 276-264 as a head coach, including 80-48 at Stanford. "I've known Coach a long, long time, but nothing surprises me, because his maturity when he was 18 and I was 30 was so impressive. ... My role is to give him advice where he needs it."

Fair and Johnson were both placed on administrative leave last week. Pitino was also placed on administrative leave after Louisville was mentioned in the recent FBI investigation in which 10 people, including four NCAA assistant coaches, were arrested. Pitino has denied any knowledge, but Louisville was linked to a payment, and at least one assistant was allegedly involved in the funneling of money from Adidas to the family of freshman Brian Bowen.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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