LEXINGTON, Ky. – UK head men’s basketball coach John Calipari announced his three assistants on Tuesday, naming Orlando Antigua, John Robic and Rod Strickland to his basketball staff.
All three men were on Calipari’s staff at Memphis last season, where they helped lead the Tigers to a 33-4 record, the Conference USA title and an NCAA Sweet 16 appearance.
Antigua, a standout player at the University of Pittsburgh, enters his second year on Calipari’s staff, having coached with him last season. Prior to his stop in Memphis, he spent five years at his alma mater, who he helped lead an overall record of 132-40 (.767 winning percentage) and a Big East Conference mark of 55-27 (.670 winning percentage). Pittsburgh recorded five straight, 20-win campaigns and won 10 or more league games five-consecutive years. The Panthers had just as much success in the postseason during Antigua’s years. Pitt won the 2003-04 Big East regular season crown and advanced to four Big East Tournament championship games in his five years on staff, claiming the 2008 league postseason title.
Robic will be in the fourth year of his second stint as part of Calipari’s staff. Prior to his three years on Cal’s staff at Memphis, Robic was an assistant under Calipari at UMass from 1990-96 where he helped lead the Minutemen to an average of 26 wins a season and the 1996 Final Four. While in Memphis, Robic helped lead the Tigers to more than 34 wins per season and a spot in the 2008 National Championship game.
Prior to 2005-06, Robic directed the Youngstown State program from 1999-2005, and during his time there, he and his staff faced a huge challenge as the Penguins moved from the Mid-Continent Conference (Mid-Con) to the Horizon League, one of the nation's premier basketball conferences. Robic's Penguins best finish in the Horizon League was a sixth-place showing in the 2002-03 campaign, the program's second year in its new conference.
Strickland is in his inaugural season as an assistant coach after serving as the Director of Basketball Operations at Memphis the last three seasons. A 17-year NBA veteran and two-time All-America, Strickland averaged 13.2 ppg and 7.3 assists. in his NBA career. He ranked among the NBA's top 10 in assists seven times in his career, leading the league in the ’98 season.