Louisville Basketball Staff Update

University of Louisville men’s basketball head coach Pat Kelsey announced Tuesday the hiring of four support staffers for his program.

Those additions include Jermaine Ukaegbu (Director of Player Personnel/Assistant Coach), Mitch Johnson (Director of Basketball Operations), Peyton Siva (Director of Player Development/Basketball Alumni Relations) and Braden Connor (Video Coordinator).

Connor, Johnson and Ukaegbu all join Kelsey from the College of Charleston, while this is the first position in college coaching for the UofL legend Siva.

Jermaine Ukaegbu

Ukaegbu has been with Kelsey for many years going back to his days playing for the coach at Winthrop. He spent the last three seasons as director of player development at CofC.

“Jermaine is one of the most extraordinary human beings I’ve ever worked with,” Kelsey said. “There is a light in him that is hard to describe, but you feel it when you are with him. He was a captain for us years ago at Winthrop, and I knew immediately that he would be an amazing coach. His understanding of our system and his ability to teach it is excellent. He pours into the lives of players and connects with them on all levels like few I’ve ever been around. His primary role in our basketball system is that of assistant defensive coordinator. He excels in on-court player development. Last year, he was huge in the development of James Scott who was the third-youngest player in all of Division I basketball. With Jermaine’s guidance, I believe James is going to be an NBA prospect as we move forward.”

“I’m honored and humbled to be a part of such a rich tradition in college basketball,” Ukaegbu said. “I have undeniable faith in Pat Kelsey and our staff that we will get Louisville rocking again, and I’m excited to be a part of the journey! L’s up!

Before Charleston, Ukaegbu served as a graduate assistant on Kelsey’s staff at Winthrop.

That followed a two-year playing career for the Eagles, in which he appeared in 59 games with 10 starts and served as a team captain in each season.

Ukaegbu joined the Eagles from Indian Hills Community College in Ottumwa, Iowa, where he averaged 3.3 points and 4.5 rebounds per game while shooting 62 percent from the floor and helped the Warriors to a berth in the NJCAA National Championships. He began his playing career at Sacred Heart where he appeared in 20 games with three starts.

Ukaegbu is involved with “Nations of Coaches.” He presented his testimony and the impact that he brought to Winthrop basketball as a former player and graduate assistant.

The Silver Springs, Md., native earned his master’s in sports and fitness administration from Winthrop University in May 2021.

Mitch Johnson

Johnson heads into his fourth season on Kelsey’s staff after three years at College of Charleston.

“Mitch Johnson possesses a tireless work ethic and meticulous organizational skills,” Kelsey said. “Throughout my career, I have always hired future coaches in this role. Mitch Johnson is just that. He is an extremely bright basketball mind with a crystal-clear understanding of my vision for the program.  He is an invaluable member of our 25 Strong culture and was an indispensable part of our success at Charleston. He assists the head coach in coordinating all of our special teams strategies which include baseline out of bounds, sideline out of bounds, after timeout situations, full court, short clock and end game scenarios.”

“Joining the Louisville Men’s Basketball staff is a dream come true,” Johnson said. “This program represents the spirit of what makes college basketball great. The fans are tough, nasty and love to win like they love to breathe, the city is passionate and dedicated to their Cardinals – there’s nothing more that you could ask. The challenge of bringing our culture to Louisville is a challenge that our staff will revere. I could not imagine a more special situation than getting to spend more time with a staff that I consider family in a city that I will soon consider home. I cannot thank Coach Kelsey and the Louisville Athletics administration enough for this unbelievable opportunity to represent one of the country’s premier institutions.”

This will be Johnson’s third season as Kelsey’s director of operations, a role in which he manages all aspects of the team’s travel, scheduling, meals and more. Johnson was also placed in an on-court coaching role prior to the 2023-24 season at CofC.

Johnson spent the 2021-22 season as a graduate assistant at Charleston, working as the program’s video coordinator, cutting film and scouting opponents. He also oversaw the team’s student managers.

Johnson is a 2021 graduate of the University of Cincinnati, where he was a three-time Dean’s List honoree. From 2017-21, the Cincinnati native served as the head junior varsity coach and freshman boys basketball coach at Turpin High School while attending Cincinnati.

From 2016-21, Johnson was also a basketball skills trainer and business operator at Ohio Champion Basketball, training players from the NBA, WNBA, professional leagues overseas and the collegiate level. The host of players who trained under Johnson have gone on to suit up for the Oklahoma City Thunder, New Orleans Pelicans, Indiana Fever, Liga ACB, Euro Champions League and the Bundesliga, among others.

Peyton Siva

Siva, one of the finest point guards to ever play for the Cardinals, will be entering his first season working with Kelsey and his first in college coaching.

“Peyton is a living legend here at Louisville,” Kelsey said. “He was a decorated recruit, championship-level point guard, longtime professional player and has become a successful businessman. Over the last couple of weeks, I have built a relationship with him and have experienced his impeccable character, charismatic disposition and love of all things University of Louisville. He will be an invaluable resource of basketball knowledge and expertise while also being a terrific confidant/mentor to our players on and off the court. His relationships with our basketball alumni, donors and administration will be of huge value as we build our organization TOGETHER with these essential groups. If he decides to pursue the coaching route he is a sure-fire head coach down the road.”

“I’m excited and honored to join Coach Kelsey’s staff,” Siva said. “I love Louisville, and I loved putting that jersey on and playing in front of the best fans in the country. And now I have the amazing opportunity to help build this program back up from the sidelines. I am thankful to Coach Kelsey for allowing me to use the experience and knowledge that I’ve gathered over the years playing for this university and professionally, to help mentor and develop our student-athletes on and off the court. I am also looking forward to building the bridge and relationships between our esteemed alumni and our talented new staff and players. Go Cards!”

Siva scored 1,215 points in his Louisville career from 2009-13, serving as a team captain in each of his final two seasons.

The Seattle native is one of only three players to be named the Most Outstanding Player of the Big East Tournament twice. He was also the Big East Scholar Athlete of the Year in 2012-13.

Siva ranked first and third in UofL history for most assists in a single season, as well as second for most assists in a career. His 90 steals in 2012-13 were the most ever in a season by a Cardinal, and he had the second-most steals in a UofL career.

Siva was selected in the second round of the 2013 NBA Draft by the Detroit Pistons and went on to play pro ball domestically and overseas for 10 years.

He returned to Louisville with his family following his playing career and competed for “The Ville” TBT alumni team last summer. He also opened a “Shoot 360” basketball training facility in the city last year.

Braden Connor

Connor joins Louisville after serving as Kelsey’s video coordinator at College of Charleston last season. Before that, he spent two years as a graduate manager on Kelsey’s staff.

“Braden is so much more than what his title states,” Kelsey said. “He lives and breathes our culture and has a positive impact on everyone he comes in contact with.  He is beloved by everyone in our program from players to coaches to staff. Braden is a bright basketball mind and does a tremendous job operating all facets of our basketball video operations. Video is an essential part of our program from a self-scouting, opponent scouting and recruiting standpoint. He is a terrific asset to our organization.”

“I’d like to thank Coach Kelsey and the athletic administration for allowing me to join the Louisville Basketball staff,” Connor said. “To be a small part of something that will revive the city of Louisville is truly special. Louisville Basketball has a rich tradition of winning and we are excited for the opportunity to hang banners for this fan base. The culture our staff not only preaches but lives by every day is infectious. We are excited to compete and bring championships to this great city.”

As video coordinator, Connor is responsible for all program video efforts, including practice and game film breakdown along with scouting.

Connor was a three-year captain for the Thomas More men’s basketball program, earning his bachelor’s degree in sport entertainment marketing and business administration.

The Cincinnati native participated in two national tournaments with the Saints, peaking as high as No. 18 in the national poll. He earned his graduate degree in communication from Charleston in 2023.


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