Reports: Terps assistant coach target Kenny Johnson headed to Louisville

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Former Indiana assistant basketball coach Kenny Johnson, a Maryland alumnus who had been prominently linked to an open job with the Terrapins, has instead accepted a similar position at Louisville, an individual with knowledge of the situation confirmed Monday night.

Last week, Johnson had emerged as Maryland’s top choice to replace Scott Spinelli, who bolted back to his native New England to accept a top assistant position with Boston College. The Cardinals and Hoosiers were also vying for the services of Johnson, a renowned recruiter who spent six years with the D.C. AAU program Team Takeover, and according to a report Indiana was prepared to “commit extra resources” to retaining its top assistant.

Now, it appears that the allure of Louisvile, with its extensive head coaching tree underneath Rick Pitino and ability to offer a significant raise, was enough for Johnson to avoid the homecoming into the Beltway region.

According to an individual with knowledge of the situation, Johnson visited and interviewed at Louisville over the weekend. He also spent one season as an assistant coach at Towson, bringing that D.C.-area experience to the Cardinals in replacing Kevin Keatts, who recently left the Cardinals to become the new head coach at UNC-Wilmington.

Without its top target in the fold, Maryland will now turn to a bevy of backup options to replace Spinelli, few of whom have been disclosed. According to another individual with knowledge of the situation, the Terps had reached out to former Marshall Coach Tom Herrion, who has also served as an assistant at Virginia and Pittsburgh, before turning towards Johnson as their primary choice, but Herrion was among a bevy of secondary choices behind Johnson. It is unclear who else ranks among Maryland’s remaining possibilities, though Coach Mark Turgeon still has to fill an assistant coach position and the vacated director of basketball operations job this summer.

Late Monday night, Johnson sent out the following tweets:

 

Alex Prewitt covers the Washington Capitals. Follow him on Twitter @alex_prewitt or email him at alex.prewitt@washpost.com.
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