Former Syracuse Select Stand-out Greg Paulus hired at Louisville

From the Courier-Journal: The Louisville men’s basketball team on Thursday named Greg Paulus as an assistant coach on interim coach David Padgett’s staff.

Paulus, who played point guard at Duke and quarterback as a graduate transfer at Syracuse, was most recently on Thad Matta’s staff as an assistant at Ohio State. Matta was fired in June.

The 31-year-old is the second addition to Padgett’s staff since his appointment on Sept. 29. Former LSU, Nevada, Stanford and TCU coach Trent Johnson was hired as an assistant last week.

“Obviously, I’m very excited to be able to add (Paulus) to our staff,” Padgett said. “His background and reputation speak for itself, not only as a coach but also as a player. … He brings an absolute wealth of experience and knowledge to our program.”

Paulus was born in Ohio but was a star basketball and football player in high school from the Syracuse, New York, area. He was a McDonald’s All-American and the 2005 New York Mr. Basketball as a high school senior.

A 6-foot-1 guard, Paulus played at Duke from 2005-09, reaching two Sweet 16s in the NCAA Tournament and winning two ACC Tournaments.

He played one season of football at Syracuse and joked Thursday about the Orange’s ugly 10-9 loss at Louisville in 2009.

“I still remember that one,” Paulus said, grinning.

After college, in 2010, Paulus tried out for the NFL’s New Orleans Saints before eventually landing a job as an assistant coach for Billy Lange’s final season at Navy.

Paulus jumped to Ohio State as the video coordinator after the 2010-11 season and was there through last season. The Buckeyes reached four NCAA Tournaments, and one Final Four, in his six years on Matta’s staff.

Over the past four months, Paulus said he and his wife, whom he married in May, continued living in Columbus, Ohio. He spent the time traveling around to camps and practices, hoping to stay active in coaching circles.

“The last couple months, it’s been a lot of travel,” Paulus said. “I’ve been to NBA practices. I’ve been to college practices. I’ve worked recruiting events, been to clinics. It’s been a lot of time in the car, but I love basketball. I love being around it.”

While Padgett and company will eventually start trying to recruit future players to Louisville, he said his staff’s primary focus is the current team as the 2017-18 season fast approaches. Or, more bluntly, Paulus and Johnson likely won’t spend as much time recruiting as they would in other circumstances.

Paulus arrived Thursday morning to sign papers and get started, his personal items and his life still in Columbus. He’ll take the next few weeks “spending the time” on Louisville’s players, he said, trying to get to know them and their tendencies – and not just on the basketball court.

There will be film sessions and practices, too, for Paulus to familiarize himself with the Cards.

It helps that he was on staff at Ohio State when Louisville topped the Buckeyes 64-55 in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge in 2014. That scouting memory can translate.

“There’s a system. There’s a way of doing things that’s been very successful,” Paulus said.

Padgett didn’t have a timetable for figuring out the third assistant spot on his coaching staff, with associate head coach Kenny Johnson still on administrative leave stemming from the FBI investigation into corruption in college basketball recruiting that has ensnared Louisville’s program.

Louisville can’t hire to fill the position with Johnson still technically employed by the school.

Interim athletics director Vince Tyra left open the possibility of Johnson returning to Louisville’s staff but also said the school is still working through information.

“I don’t feel pressured to make a decision” on Johnson’s employment status, Tyra said.

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