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Former Kentucky assistant, USF coach Orlando Antigua joins Illini staff

Brad Underwood adds proven power-five recruiter Orlando Antigua to his staff


Illinois officially announced the hires of five staff members, including assistants Jamall Walker and Orlando Antigua.

"Orlando has one of the top pedigrees in college basketball, from his days as a player and throughout his coaching career," Underwood said in a statement. "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."

Walker will remain on Underwood's staff after five years under John Groce.

"Jamall and I go back a long way; I've known him since he was in high school," Underwood said. "I've followed him throughout his coaching journey and am very familiar with his work ethic and his character. He has done a fabulous job throughout his time here at Illinois, including during the NIT while serving as interim head coach. Jamall is a top-flight recruiter and as a former point guard, will help our players grow at that position."

Walker will retain strength and conditioning coach Adam Fletcher, and is bringing Joey Biggs (director of operations) and Patrick Schulte (video coordinator) from Oklahoma State.

"Adam is one of the top up-and-coming strength coaches in the country," Underwood said. "The areas of strength and conditioning play a major role in our program. Coach 'Fletch' has done an outstanding job to date with the players here and I'm excited to have him continue with their development."

On Joey Biggs, Underwood said: "Joey is a tremendous administrator and someone who excels in the many different hats you have to wear in that role.He was a great asset to every head coach he worked for at Oklahoma State. He will be involved in all the organizational duties of running our day-to-day program and will take the lead on game scheduling as well."

On Schulte, Underwood said: "Patrick has been with me a long time, going back to his days as a manager at K-State. He has a high basketball IQ, is gifted with technology, and knowledgeable in all facets of video editing and analysis."

Original story

CHAMPAIGN -'s Evan Daniels reports Illinois has an agreement with former South Florida head coach and former Kentucky assistant Orlando Antigua to join Brad Underwood's Illini staff as an assistant coach.

Antigua earned a reputation as one of the better recruiting in the country when he served under John Calipari at Memphis and Kentucky from 2008-14. He was a key recruiter on a staff that pulled in current NBA stars Anthony DavisJohn Wall and Demarcus Cousins as well as several other first-round draft picks including Nerlens Noel, Michael Kidd-GilchristJulius RandleEnes Kanter, Eric Bledsoe and Brandon Knight, among others.

He turned that into the head coaching job at South Florida but was fired on Jan. 3, midway through a five-year contract. The Bulls went 23-55 overall under Antigua, including 7-30 during American Athletic Conference play.

The Bulls also are currently under investigation by the NCAA for alleged academic fraud. Antigua's brother, Oliver, resigned as a USF assistant last summer after the investigation was announced.

Prior to joining Calipari, Antigua spent five years on Jamie Dixon's staff at Pittsburgh, his alma mater where he played from 1991-95. He served as director of basketball operations for the Panthers from 2004-06 and as an assistant from 2006-08.

Antigua, who was born in the Dominican Republic, was the head coach of the DR's national team from 2013-15.

He also played from 1995-2002 for the Harlem Globetrotters, which was run by former Illini legend and Basketball Hall of Famer Mannie Jackson.

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