Mar 28, 2013; Washington, D.C., USA; Indiana Hoosiers head coach Tom Crean reacts in the second half against the Syracuse Orange during the semifinals of the East regional of the 2013 NCAA tournament at the Verizon Center. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Assistant Basketball Coach Kenny Johnson Leaving IU

Kenny Johnson has accepted a position at Louisville, leaving the Indiana Hoosiers basketball program with a coaching vacancy. Head coach Tom Crean will have to try to replace an assistant coach who has made a big impact in just two years.

Johnson carried the distinction of being the team’s recruiting coordinator in addition to assistant coach. He replaced Bennie Seltzer, who is currently the head coach at Samford. Johnson joined the team in 2012 after leaving Towson.

Johnson was instrumental in signing the key names from the 2013 class. Stanford Robinson, Troy Williams, and Noah Vonleh can all be attributed to his efforts. He also played a big role in getting James Blackmon Jr to recommit after he reopened his recruitment last summer.

Johnson did a nice job of mixing local talent with East Coast players. He has a number of connections along the coast and made some inroads for the Hoosiers that they previously didn’t have.

Louisville wasn’t the only university looking for Johnson’s services, Maryland was also in the mix and his name has been high on the list of schools needing a recruiter. Johnson will replace Kevin Keatts, who is now head coach at UNC-Wilmington.

The Hoosiers are left with little time to fill the coaching vacancy. Considering the importance of his position, and the holes left on the roster, IU needs to find someone in the next two weeks.

It is also possible that this will be a difficult position to fill. While Crean might not officially be on the hot seat, fans (and more importantly boosters) are not happy with the programs direction. If other coaches perceive Crean to be on thin ice, they’ll likely opt to stay put rather than board a sinking ship.

That said, IU is still considered a destination job and being on the staff can elevate an ambitious young assistant to a future head coaching position.

We’ll keep you posted as the story develops.

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Tags: Indiana Hoosiers Kenny Johnson Tom Crean

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