Basketball

Former UK Assistant Orlando Antigua Lands New Job at Illinois

Months after losing his head coaching job at South Florida, Orlando Antigua has landed an assistant coaching position on Brad Underwood’s staff at Illinois.

Antigua has always been considered one of the top recruiting assistants in college basketball and will certainly be an asset for the Illini.

Here are details:



Champaign, Ill. – Illinois head coach Brad Underwood announced Wednesday two assistant coaches for the program with the hiring of Orlando Antigua and retention of Jamall Walker. Strength and conditioning coach Adam Fletcher also will remain with the Illini, and two support staff roles have been filled with the additions of Joey Biggs as director of operations and Patrick Schulte as video coordinator.

Orlando Antigua – Assistant Coach

Antigua arrives at Illinois following two and a half seasons as head coach at South Florida. He also served as head coach of the Dominican Republic men’s national team from 2013-15. During that stint in 2014, the Dominican Republic advanced to the bracket round of the FIBA World Cup for the first time in the country’s history.

Antigua earned the head position at South Florida after serving as an assistant for John Calipari for six seasons. He spent the 2008-09 season at Memphis before joining Calipari at Kentucky for five years from 2009-14. Named the top assistant coach in the country under 40 by ESPN.com in 2012, Antigua helped assemble five straight No. 1-ranked recruiting classes during his time at UK. The Wildcats compiled a 152-37 record during his tenure, highlighted by three Final Four appearances and culminating in the 2012 NCAA Championship.

Prior to joining Calipari at Memphis, Antigua spent five seasons at his alma mater, Pittsburgh. He was part of then-head coach Jamie Dixon’s staff, three as director of basketball operations (2003-06) and two as assistant coach (2006-08) while Pitt compiled a 132-40 record.

“Orlando has one of the top pedigrees in college basketball, from his days as a player and throughout his coaching career,” Underwood said. “He was an integral part of the success at Kentucky with Coach Calipari, recruiting and developing several outstanding players who went on to become high NBA draft picks. He will work with our bigs here and will do an outstanding job in their development as well. Orlando is a wonderful person of high character and will fit our Illini family perfectly.”

Antigua played at Pittsburgh from 1991-95, serving as two-time team captain. He won the USBWA’s Most Courageous Athlete in 1994, an honor that is presented annually to a player who displays courage on and off the court. After graduating from Pittsburgh in 1995, Antigua became the first player of Latin American descent to play for the famed Harlem Globetrotters, touring the world for seven years until 2002. The Globetrotters at that time were owned by Illinois alumnus and 2017 Naismith Basketball Hall of Famer Mannie Jackson.

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