Duke assistant Nolan Smith joining staff at Louisville

Published 10:53 pm Tuesday, April 5, 2022

By Aaron Beard

AP Basketball Writer

NEW ORLEANS — Duke assistant coach Nolan Smith is going to Louisville.

A person with knowledge of the situation said the former Blue Devils All-American has informed the team that he will leave to become the associate head coach under new Cardinals coach Kenny Payne. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because neither school has publicly confirmed the move.

Louisville team spokesman Kenny Klein said Tuesday that the Cardinals have yet to make any official staff hirings for Payne, who was hired in March as an assistant coach with the NBA’s New York Knicks and was a player on the Cardinals’ 1986 NCAA championship team.

Smith has a family connection to Louisville. His father, the late Derek Smith, was a starting forward on the Cardinals’ 1980 NCAA title winner who went on to play nine years in the NBA. Derek Smith died in 1996 of a heart attack at age 34 when he was an assistant coach with the NBA’s Washington Bullets.

New Duke head coach Jon Scheyer is taking over after spending the past nine months as the designated successor to now-retired Hall of Famer Mike Krzyzewski. The 33-year-old Smith had joined the Duke staff in February 2016 in a supporting role, then moved up to director of basketball operations and player development in 2018.