Pitino announces staff revisions

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- University of Louisville men's basketball coach Rick Pitino has made two revisions to his staff for the 2005-06 season.

Bill Burke, Director of Basketball Operations at U of L for the past three seasons, will become the Administrative Assistant on Pitino's staff. Brian Merritt, a program assistant on the U of L staff the past two years, will fill Burke's position as Director of Basketball Operations.

"Billy was my first assistant coach at Boston U. some 27 years ago," said Pitino. "He's been a great asset to our program over the past three years and I know he'll continue to make a major contribution here in his new role."

Before joining the Cardinal staff in 2002, Burke spent 20 years with investment firms in New York and San Francisco, the last six as managing director at Robertson Stephens in San Francisco.

After earning a bachelor's degree in psychology at Fordham in 1972, Burke coached and taught psychology and theology for six years at Nazareth High School in Brooklyn, his alma mater. He guided Nazareth to the New York City Championship in 1977.

He joined Pitino's first staff at Boston University in 1978, helping the Terriers win 51 games in building the program. He was head coach and associate athletic director at Loyola College in Baltimore for the 1981-82 season. He has two sons: William and Daniel.

A native of St. Mary's County, Md., Merritt has coached in AAU leagues, ran a successful scouting service in the Baltimore/Washington, D.C. area, worked at numerous basketball camps over the past seven years, and has helped select players for the Cham City Challenge in Baltimore.

"Brian has worked diligently over the past two years to help our program reach its current level," said Pitino. "I'm excited that we have an opportunity for him to remain on our staff."

Merritt played two seasons in college, one at Butler (Pa.) Community College and one at Towson (Md.) University, where he earned a B.S. degree in Sports Management in 2003.

Burke will replace Vince Taylor, an assistant coach on the U of L men's basketball staff for the past seven years, whose new opportunity coaching in the NBA has not yet been announced. Taylor had been elevated to the Cardinals' administrative assistant role in April.

"I'm very happy for Vince," said Pitino. "He's getting a great break into professional basketball. We're very appreciative of his work at Louisville."

Pitino has previously announced four other revisions to his staff. Kevin Willard was elevated to Associate Coach on April 8 after serving as an assistant coach with the Cardinals for the past four years. Marvin Menzies, an assistant coach at UNLV last season, and Steve Masiello, an assistant coach at Manhattan for the past four years, joined the Cardinals' staff in a similar role on May 4. Dan McHale, administrative assistant at Manhattan for the past year and a former U of L staff assistant, joined the men's basketball staff on May 4 as Director of Video Operations.

Two of Pitino's assistants moved on to collegiate head coaching positions this year. Reggie Theus, an assistant coach at U of L for the past two years, was named head coach at New Mexico State University on March 28 and Scott Davenport, a member of the U of L basketball staff for the past nine years, was named head coach at Bellarmine University in Louisville on April 29. Pitino has had 21 former assistants or players advance to collegiate head coaching positions.

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