Louisville assistant Kevin Keatts to be next UNCW hoops coach

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Submitted: Fri, 03/28/2014 - 3:50am
Updated: Fri, 07/17/2015 - 10:26am

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — UNC Wilmington has found its new men’s basketball coach.

University of Louisville Associate Head Coach Kevin Keatts is the next coach for the Seahawks. He replaces Buzz Peterson, who was fired March 11 after four seasons.

“I am very excited about taking over a program that’s had a lot of past success,” Keatts said during a teleconference with reporters this afternoon from Indianapolis, where Louisville is getting ready to play in the Sweet 16 tomorrow night. “I’m anxious to get started. I like everything about the job. Looking forward to getting the program back on the right track. When this opportunity came along for me, I thought it was a no-brainer.”

The Executive Committee of the UNCW Board of Trustees held an emergency meeting via conference call at 10 a.m. Afterward, the hiring of Keatts was announced.

“We were intent on bring the best coach to UNCW,” UNCW Athletics Director Jimmy Bass said. “We want to win championships. Our goal is to find the best person we can find. Kevin Keatts met all of our criteria. We had a diverse group of candidates that we met with on campus. It was a thorough process.”

Keatts, 41, has served as an assistant under Rick Pitino at Louisville since April 2011. That includes being part of last year’s national championship team and a third straight run to the Sweet 16 this season.

Terms of Keatts’s deal with UNCW have not yet been released, because the chair of the Board of Trustees is out of town and will not be able to sign it until at least Sunday, Bass said. The university expects to release the details of the official contract Monday. Everyone else who needs to sign, including Keatts, has, Bass said. Louisville reportedly pays Keatts about $280,000 a year.

Before going to Louisville, Keatts coached at Hargrave Military Academy in Virginia, where he won two national prep school championships. He also coached collegiately at Southwest Michigan College and Marshall University.

The other front runner for the job was reportedly Chris Caputo, who is an assistant at the University of Miami. Former UNCW Seahawk Billy Donlon, currently the head coach at Wright State, was also reportedly in the hunt. Donlon played under Jerry Wainwright and was an assistant coach under Brad Brownell and succeeded Brownell as top man at Wright State.


  • justin says:

    He was making almost $300K in January ’14 at Louisville…

  • Vog46 says:

    Got a link to that info please?

    Working at an elite school athletically would bring in a higher salary. Working for a coach like Pitino is also a factor.
    But Bass has to remember that UNCW is NOT elite. Heck we’re not even good. Success should bring salary increases in our case not “a higher salary would attract a better coach.”

    Athletics has been and should always remain a secondary consideration at UNCW. It is an institution of HIGHER LEARNING first and foremost.


  • jj says:

    Like always he will be here a couple of years and they will either run him off and have to pay the remainder of his contact, or he will find something better.

  • SurfCityTom says:

    He’ll likely garner $350,000 with perks and bennies.

    Throw in Buzz and his $475,000 annually.

    That’s $825,000 for the next 2 years assuming Buzz hangs out at the beach and works on his tan and waist line or takes a broadcast gig.

    Bass stresses they will not pay Buzz all he is due as he will take another position. That’s only if he gets a paying position in college hoops.

    They need to start trimming the fat; and they should start with Bass who had that blinding ray of wisdom in giving a losing coach a year’s contract extension less than 12 months ago.

    We should be seeing Bye Bye Bass.

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