Kentucky basketball hires Illinois assistants Orlando Antigua, Ron Coleman to employees

After one of many worst seasons in Kentucky basketball historical past, John Calipari dipped into the switch pool of coaches to signal two-thirds of Illinois‘ employees.

Illinois assistants Orlando Antigua, beforehand a key member of Calipari’s employees, and Ron Coleman have joined Kentucky’s employees, the Wildcats introduced Thursday.

The strikes comply with Kentucky’s 9-16 season, which was this system’s first sub-.500 marketing campaign since Eddie Sutton’s 13-19 file in 1988-89. Coupled with this system’s misses on the recruiting path lately and a six-year stretch with out a Closing 4 berth, buzz a few shake-up began quickly after the season ended.

ESPN’s Jonathan Givony and Jeff Borzello beforehand reported that Antigua and Coleman have been candidates to fill the voids left by Joel Justus, who went to Arizona State, and Tony Barbee, who accepted a job as head coach at Central Michigan.

Antigua is a well-known face for Calipari, having served on his employees at Memphis and Kentucky.

“I’m actually excited to have Orlando again,” Calipari stated in a press release. “I feel everybody is aware of what we have been in a position to do with Orlando as part of our employees going to the Candy Sixteen in our remaining season at Memphis and making three Closing Fours with a nationwide title at Kentucky in his 5 seasons. However except for our workforce success, he brings an uplifting spirit and a piece ethic that helps create relationships which are so wanted in faculty basketball inside your personal workforce and on the recruiting path. All of that begins inside our employees, and I’m excited that he wished to be again right here with us to get our program again to the place we all know it must be.”

Coleman additionally performed a key position for an Illinois workforce that secured a high seed within the NCAA event and helped Kofi Cockburn and Ayo Dosunmu grow to be NBA prospects.

“Ron ‘Chin’ Coleman is in the identical mildew as Orlando,” Calipari stated. “You’re speaking about one other upbeat, constructive coach who’s going to carry the spirit that has at all times been part of our tradition. He has earned his stripes by onerous work and constructing relationships across the nation. Chin is a grinder, somebody who relishes that point within the gymnasium with the children to assist add worth to your present gamers, but he by no means takes his eyes off the lifeline of our program, which is recruiting.”

Illinois coach Brad Underwood praised his outgoing assistants for the influence they’d on his program.

“Orlando and Chin have been instrumental within the constructing of this program from day one, they usually deserve plenty of credit score for the success that we have skilled,” Underwood stated in a press release. “They’re expensive pals who I am going to miss working alongside every day, and I’m grateful for the influence they’ve had on my life, which is greater than basketball.”

Coleman and Antigua will be part of Jai Lucas, who arrived final summer time, on Calipari’s employees for the upcoming season. Kentucky’s incoming recruiting class is ranked fifth by ESPN.

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