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Sat. Jun 15th, 2024

Louisville announces hiring of assistant Michael Cassidy, two support staff members

By meerna Jun12,2024

University of Louisville press release:

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – UofL men’s basketball head coach Pat Kelsey announced the hiring of additional staff on Tuesday: assistant coach Mike Cassidy, creative director Tom Pupavac and associate track and field coach Katie Creznic.

All three new hires reunite with current Louisville staffers and former College of Charleston staffers: Pat Kelsey, Brian Kloman, Thomas Carr, Jermaine Ukaegbu, Eli Foy, Mitch Johnson and Braden Smith.

Michael Cassidy – assistant coach

After spending the previous three seasons with CofC, Cassidy will enter his fourth year of college basketball with the Louisville Cardinals in the 2024-2025 season.

“Cass is one of the brightest basketball minds I have ever worked with,” Kelsey said. “As our offensive coordinator, he helps me design, implement and adjust our offensive plans. He is a very talented on-court teacher. Players like him because of his positive demeanor, sense of humor, and obvious knowledge of the game.

“I am incredibly honored and excited to join the men’s basketball staff at such a prestigious institution as the University of Louisville,” Cassidy said. “I would also like to thank Coach Kelsey for such a great opportunity. Louisville has an incredibly rich basketball history, and the city and its fans are like no other. As employees, we look forward to introducing an exciting and electric brand of basketball that the city can get behind. A huge thank you to everyone at Louisville Athletics for making the transition seamless and smooth. I can’t wait to get together with our guys this summer and build the team for an exciting first year of the Pat Kelsey era at Louisville. Go for the cards!”

Overall, Charleston went 75-27 (.735) in Cassidy and Kelsey’s three seasons, winning the Coastal Athletic Association regular season and tournament titles in 2023 and 2024.

Cassidy was an assistant coach for the Australian Under-19 team at the FIBA ​​Under-19 World Cup in July 2021, prior to joining Charleston’s staff as an assistant coach. He previously played an integral role for five years on the staff of the Basketball Australia Center of Excellence, a world-class institution dedicated to the development of junior basketball in Australia and the future Boomers and Opals who compete in the Australian Men’s and Women’s Team Championships.

At the Center of Excellence, Cassidy served as an assistant coach competing in the NBL1 (Division II Pro League) in Australia. Additionally, he collaborated with the NBA Global Academy based in Canberra, Australia. The Center of Excellence has produced several NBA stars, including Andrew Bogut, Matthew Dellavedova, Dante Exum, Joe Ingles, Luc Longley, Patty Mills and more.

Cassidy was responsible for nationally identifying future Australian national team talent and individually tailoring athlete development programs while teaching, focusing on shooting and international offensive and defensive trends. He helped coach multiple U19 national teams and helped lead the U18 national team to a silver medal at the Albert Schweitzer Tournament, an international competition held in Germany every two years.

Cassidy, a 2018 graduate of the Australian College of Physical Education, also has experience as a head coach at the National Basketball League Combine and the Australian Basketball Development Camp. During this latter period, he led and managed a team of 10 coaches and a team of 20 athletes, bringing to Louisville an impressive resume of recruiting, talent identification and development, and on-court coaching expertise.

Tom Pupavac – Creative Director of Men’s Basketball

Pupavac will spend his fourth season in the creative field in 2024-25, after spending the previous three seasons under Kelsey in Charleston. He previously played four seasons of basketball under Kelsey at Winthrop.

“Tom played for us and was part of championship teams at Winthrop,” Kelsey said. “It’s unique and, in my opinion, an advantage to have a former player collaborate with you in the creative space. He understands and believes in our culture so much that through his work he can tell a unique story about who we are. He is incredibly talented and brings our program to life through the content he creates.”

“It is an honor to be welcomed into the Louisville basketball family and a privilege to be part of the rich history on which this program is built,” Pupavac said. “I would like to thank Coach Kelsey for the opportunity I have been given here and for the trust he has placed in my vision over the years! I look forward to sharing this journey with the amazing Card Nation! The unwavering support of Louisville Basketball fans is like no other and is what drives this team’s success. Go for the cards!”

In his role, Pupavac is responsible for producing digital creative projects for the men’s basketball program, including photography, videography and graphic design. Collaborates with coaching staff to create all creative recruiting content for targeted prospects and conducts creative projects with prospects during their official visits.

During his three years in Charleston, he helped double the Cougars’ social media metrics. In 2022, the Cougars ranked 98th in total social interactions, 74th in interaction rate, 87th in total views and had the third-highest growth rate in DI men’s basketball.

Originally from Australia, Pupavac graduated from Winthrop in 2021 with a degree in business administration. In his four seasons on the court with Kelsey, he won two conference championships.

Katie Creznic – associate athletic trainer

Creznic begins her career at the University of Louisville after two years at the College of Charleston for men’s basketball and women’s golf. During her tenure with the Cougars Charleston basketball program, she won back-to-back conference championships while going to the NCAA Tournament.

“I think in college basketball, the athletic trainer is one of the most important positions in your program,” Kelsey said. “Katie has played a huge role in our last two championships in Charleston. Her expertise in her craft is exceptional, but her true gift is the connection she has with her players. He is a huge part of our 25 Strong culture.”

“I am very happy and excited to continue working with Coach Kelsey and his amazing staff here in Louisville,” Creznic said. “The resources and support implemented in this program medically and beyond are second to none. I look forward to serving our student-athletes and helping them achieve incredible success on and off the court. Together we will build something truly unique. Go for the cards!”

Prior to working with Kelsey in Charleston, Creznic worked at Morgan State University, where she first covered men’s basketball as an assistant track and field coach (2017-2018) and was then promoted to director of sports medicine in 2018.

In 2013-2015, she interned at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, and was an assistant professor at the University of South Carolina. While a graduate student at Palmetto State, she worked at Dreher High School and South Carolina State University.

Outside of college athletics, Creznic served as the track and field coach for the 2022 NBA Combine and G League Elite Camps, as well as the NBA x HBCU Summer League Combine that same summer.

Creznic is certified in Graston Level 1, Myofascial Cupping, Complex Dry Needling Level 1, PES and FMC-C.

Creznic graduated from Messiah College (now University) with a bachelor’s degree in athletic training in 2013. In 2017, she added a master’s degree in advanced athletic training from the University of South Carolina. Creznic is from Hershey, Pennsylvania.

(Photo via Jared Anderson – Louisville Report)

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By meerna

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