UK Men's Basketball

South Florida fires former Calipari assistant Orlando Antigua

Herald-Leader Staff Report

Orlando Antigua went 23-55 in two and a half seasons as head coach at South Florida.
Orlando Antigua went 23-55 in two and a half seasons as head coach at South Florida. ehyman@newsobserver.com

Orlando Antigua was fired as head basketball coach at the University of South Florida on Tuesday, midway through his third season.

The longtime assistant to John Calipari at Kentucky and Memphis went 9-23 in his first season at USF, 8-25 last season and was off to a 6-7 start in 2016-17. The Bulls concluded the calendar year by losing their first two American Athletic Conference games, to East Carolina on Dec. 28 and Houston on Dec. 31.

Athletics Director Mark Harlan made the announcement in a letter to fans on the school’s athletics website Tuesday.

“After a thorough and deliberate review of our men’s basketball program, a decision has been made to make a head coaching change,” Harlan’s statement said. “I met with Coach Antigua earlier today to inform him of this and to thank him for his service to USF. We wish Coach Antigua and his family the very best.”

Assistant coach Murray Bartow will serve as the team’s interim coach for the remainder of this season. Harlan said he would begin a national search for a new head coach immediately.

In addition to the losing, Antigua’s program was investigated by the NCAA for alleged academic fraud, according to an ESPN report last summer.

Antigua was an assistant to Calipari for one year at Memphis and five years at UK before taking his first college head coaching job at South Florida in 2014.

Rod Strickland, an assistant to Antigua at South Florida and another former Calipari assistant, is still listed as part of Bartow’s staff on the USF website.

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