Scott Padgett, a national champion standout at Kentucky and an eight-year NBA veteran, has joined Mississippi State’s men’s basketball program as an Assistant to the Head Coach announced by Chris Jans.
Padgett possesses 13 seasons of coaching experience at the Division I level. He has recruited and coached over 30 players that have gone on to play professionally.
Most recently, Padgett completed a pair of one-year stints as an assistant coach at New Mexico under Paul Weir in 2020-21 and at Manhattan College working for former Kentucky teammate Steve Masiello in 2021-22.
Padgett began his coaching career as an assistant strength coach at his alma mater during John Calipari’s first season at Kentucky in 2009-10.
Then, Padgett spent two seasons apiece as an assistant coach at Manhattan and an assistant coach at Samford before being elevated to Samford’s head coach leading into the 2014-15 season.
“Coach Scott Padgett has run the gamut when it comes to basketball,” Jans said. “Obviously, he will bring a wealth of playing and coaching experience that will be leaned on daily at Mississippi State. We are thrilled to add someone of Scott’s reputation amongst the various basketball circles.”
Padgett’s tenure as Samford’s head coach was highlighted by the program’s first 20-win season in over a decade, the program’s lone postseason victory and a single-season school record of 2,834 points in 2016-17. He concluded his Samford tenure with the third-most head coaching wins.
Padgett led the Bulldogs to their first-ever win over a Big 10 opponent when Samford defeated Nebraska on Dec. 20, 2015. He also was named a 2014-15 Joe B. Hall Award finalist, which is presented annually to the nation’s top first-year head coach.
Prior to his time at Samford, Padgett was part of a 15-win improvement during the 2011-12 campaign at Manhattan. The Jaspers amassed the NCAA’s biggest improvement that season en route to 21 victories and a postseason trip.
Padget’s first stop was with Kentucky’s 2009-10 squad spent the entire season ranked inside the nation’s top five on the way to 35 wins, a SEC regular season title, a SEC Tournament crown and a run to the NCAA Elite Eight.
All five starters were future NBA standouts: John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, Patrick Patterson, Eric Bledsoe and Darius Miller. The Wildcats had five first round picks in 2010 which is tied for a NBA Draft single-year record.
Padgett embarked on his NBA journey as the 28th overall pick by the Utah Jazz in the first round of the 1999 NBA Draft. His teams made the NBA Playoffs seven times playing most notably for Jerry Sloan and Jeff Van Gundy. After four seasons in Utah (1999-2003), his NBA stops included Houston (2003-05, 2006-07), New Jersey (2005-06) and Memphis (2006-07).
Padgett piled up 1,224 of his 1,252 career points over the last three seasons of his highly decorated playing career at Kentucky for Hall of Fame coaches Rick Pitino and Tubby Smith. The Wildcats averaged 32.7 wins from 1997-99 which culminated with the 1998 National Championship.
Padgett was a 1998-99 Wooden All-America First-Team honoree, a two-time All-SEC selection and a two-time SEC Tournament Team pick. He was a centerpiece of three straight SEC Tournament crowns for the Wildcats and took home the 1999 Most Valuable Player award.
Padgett was a clutch performer when the stakes were at their highest as a two-time NCAA All-Final Four and two-time All-NCAA Tournament Regional Team recipient in 1997 and 1998. He buried a three-pointer which broke an 81-81 tie with 39.4 seconds left against Duke in the 1998 NCAA Elite Eight and capped a 17-point comeback over the game’s last 10 minutes.
A true student-athlete, Padgett was recognized as a two-time SEC Honor Roll for his success in the classroom and was a 1999 SEC Community Service Team recipient. He also was a McDonald’s High School All-America candidate at St. Xavier High School in Louisville.
Padgett and his wife, Cynthia, have three children: Logan, Lucas and Layla. He graduated from Kentucky in 1999 with a degree in social work.
Story Courtesy: Matt Dunaway, MSU Director/Communications