Kentucky basketball assistant coach Orlando Antigua hired to lead South Florida team

March 31, 2014 

Kentucky Wildcats forward Alex Poythress (22) left the court with Assistant Coach Orlando Antigua after the University of Kentucky defeated Auburn University in the Auburn Arena in Auburn, Al., Saturday, January 19, 2013. This is second half action. UK won 75-53. Photo by Charles Bertram | Staff

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Kentucky basketball assistant coach and recruiter Orlando Antigua has been hired by the University of South Florida, the school announced Monday.

Antigua started with head Kentucky coach John Calipari at Memphis in 2008. He came to work for Calipari at Kentucky after Calipari was hired five years ago.

The school will hold a formal press conference to introduce Antiqua on Tuesday in Florida, the university announced in a press release on its website. The press conference will be streamed live on GoUSFBulls.com.

"I have been preparing for the challenge of leading a program my entire life and I have a deep belief and passion that USF basketball can thrive and is ideally positioned in a community as rich and diverse as the Tampa Bay area," Antiqua said in the prepared remarks. "I look forward to renewing my strong connections in the state of Florida and can’t wait to begin working towards our future success."

Director of Athletics Mark Harlan said, "We were looking for a great leader, a great communicator, a proven record of being able to recruit and develop players, and someone who will represent USF with exceptional energy and integrity. We have found all of that and more in Orlando Antigua.

"He has tremendous passion and a unique and exciting background that includes being a key participant in one of the most successful recent runs in the college game. His work as the head coach of the Dominican National Team is also extremely impressive. Orlando’s incredible personal story is a powerful testament to his drive and determination that will serve our program well.”

South Florida previously tried to hire Steve Masiello but rescinded the offer after finding out Masiello did not graduate from the University of Kentucky as claimed. Masiello was placed on leave at Manhattan College where he is coach, according to Associated Press.

Masiello played for Rick Pitino and Tubby Smith.

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