LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Kevin Keatts, who joined the University of Louisville men’s basketball staff in April 2011 as an assistant coach, has been elevated to Associate Head Coach for the Cardinals by head coach Rick Pitino.
“Kevin is one of the best assistants I have had in a long career,” said Pitino. “That’s saying something with the great assistants I’ve had the extreme pleasure to work alongside. He has done an incredible job with all of our current players and recruits and naming him an associate is a much-deserved recognition for him.”
Keatts, who has won two national prep championships and was runner-up on three occasions as head coach at Hargrave Military Academy over eight seasons, has helped the Cardinals assemble two straight top ten recruiting classes. Since his arrival at UofL, the Cardinals have reached the NCAA Final Four twice — including winning the 2013 NCAA Championship — won two Big East Conference championships, and have a combined 79-18 record while winning a school-record 35 games last year.
ESPN.com’s Jeff Goodman, after surveying move than 200 collegiate coaches, named Keatts as the nation’s third most respected/feared assistant coach in a July 2013 listing.
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. He was inducted into the Hargrave Hall of Fame in 2011.
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. Keatts coached current UofL senior Luke Hancock — the Most Outstanding Player of the 2013 NCAA Final Four — at Hargrave and had recruited current Cardinal sophomore Montrezl Harrell to Hargrave before joining the UofL staff.
Keatts has coached nine players at the prep level that have reached the NBA including Joe Alexander, Jordan Crawford, Josh Howard, Vernon Macklin, Mike Scott, Marreese Speights, Sam Young, David West and Korleone Young.
Keatts was a collegiate assistant coach at Marshall University for two seasons from 2001-03 under head coach Greg White. He was one of the coaches for the successful Gold Team at the 2011 Derby Festival Basketball Classic all-star game played in Louisville’s KFC Yum! Center.
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 schools’ 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 (9) and Kaden (5).