April 28, 2011
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -
Kevin Keatts, who has won two national prep championships and was runner-up on three occasions as head coach at Hargrave Military Academy over the past eight seasons, has joined the University of Louisville men's basketball staff as an assistant coach under head coach Rick Pitino.
"We're really excited to add Kevin to our staff," said Pitino. "He rounds out three outstanding individuals who all bring something different to the table to create a terrific recruiting team, as well being a group that excels in coaching and scouting. Kevin has been a tireless recruiter at Hargrave, where it's not easy for everyone to get up at six a.m. to march. He's done an outstanding job of building his prep teams for many years and also has experience as a collegiate assistant. This is one of the best recruiting staffs I have ever assembled."
"I'm very excited to have the opportunity to work with Coach Pitino and the entire Louisville Family," said Keatts. "Coach Pitino is a great leader, teacher, motivator and Hall of Fame coach. I am excited about coaching in the BIG EAST and look forward to getting started."
Keatts' success as a prep coach is staggering. In 10 seasons in two separate stints as the head coach at Hargrave (1999-2001, 2003-2011), he compiled an incredible 262-17 record with two national prep titles (2004, 2008), three runner-up finishes (2005, 2006, 2009) and two additional appearances among the final four prep teams (2007, 2010). Keatts won his second national prep title with a perfect 29-0 record, the school's first ever undefeated season. His teams lost one or fewer games on six occasions.
Located in Chatham, Va., Hargrave produced 103 players who signed NCAA Division I men's basketball scholarships during Keatts' 10 seasons as a head coach -- an average of over 10 a year -- and an additional 18 advanced to play at the Division II level. Among the active BIG EAST Conference players who attended Hargrave are Pittsburgh guard Isaiah Epps and DePaul guard/forward Eric Wallace.
Keatts has coached five current NBA players at the prep level including Washington Wizards guard Jordan Crawford and forward Josh Howard, Philadelphia 76ers forward Marreese Speights, Memphis Grizzlies guard/forward Sam Young and New Orleans Hornets forward David West.
Keatts was a collegiate assistant coach at Marshall University for two seasons from 2001-03 under head coach Greg White. Recently, he was in the Cardinals' KFC Yum! Center as one of the coaches for the successful Gold Team at the 2011 Derby Festival Basketball Classic all-star game.
His first coaching stop was as an assistant for one year at Southwestern Michigan College (1996-97). He moved on to become an assistant coach at Hargrave for two years (1997-99) before advancing as the school's head coach.
Keatts was a two sport standout in basketball and football at Heritage High School in Lynchburg, Va., and also excelled in basketball at Ferrum College. Keatts and his wife Georgette have two sons, Kevin (7) and Kaden (2).
Keatts is the third new assistant Pitino has added to his staff in the last three days. Richard Pitino, an assistant men's basketball coach for the past two years at the University of Florida and son of Cardinals head coach Rick Pitino, has returned to the U of L staff as associate coach, and Wyking Jones (pronounced WHY-king), an assistant basketball coach for the past two seasons at the University of New Mexico, has also joined the Cardinals in a similar capacity.
The trio of staff additions came after recent departures of assistants Steve Masiello, who became head coach at Manhattan College, and Tim Fuller, who left for a similar position at Missouri. U of L assistant coach Mark Lieberman will also move to the Cardinals' Director of Basketball Operations position.