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Tredway moves on to Louisville as assistant

When Louisville coach Rick Pitino isn't working to win another NCAA basketball championship, he may well find himself being coached by a man whose sole regret from his Ashland High School days is that he didn't play hoops.

But the mentoring provided by the 6-foot-5 Andrew Tredway wouldn't be basketball related. Rather, he might help Pitino and other members of the Cardinals' athletic department with swing tempo, grip pressure and pre-shot routines so as to improve their golf games.

"All of them play and all of them are looking for tips," laughs 12-year Louisville head golf coach Mark Crabtree, who recently hired Tredway away from Mercer University to be his lone assistant.

It's a reasonable trade-off: A few lessons on the driving range for a couple season tickets in a state-of-the-art, 22,000-seat arena that some, notably those in Louisville, consider college basketball's epicenter.

Tredway, a 1995 Ashland graduate who went on to playing success at Oregon and on mini tours before taking up coaching, isn't about to renounce his loyalty to the Ducks. But there's room in his fandom chest for another school.

"I've already fallen in love with the University of Louisville," says Tredway, 34. "The facilities are world class, and they have Olympic-level athletes and coaches. I plan to absorb as much as I can from all these other people."

Oh, and take in some games.

"I looked at the (basketball) schedule the other day," says Tredway, who was in the process of moving from Macon, Ga., to Louisville this week. "It didn't really hit me until I'd seen that. There's Louisville-Georgetown, Louisville-Syracuse, some of the games you could only watch on TV. It's pretty exciting, and having the opportunity to take recruits to those kinds of games, you can't really put a value on that."

Tredway was on Crabtree's radar when the latter went looking for an aide. Crabtree didn't open up the position on a national scale, but he did his own "internal" national search.

"He was on the short list of coaches I talked to," says Crabtree, who had seen Tredway in action when the Cardinals played in a tournament hosted by Mercer.

At Mercer, where he'd been for four years, Tredway spearheaded the Bears' rise from a 159th national ranking to around 85th in his second season, representing the largest jump in the NCAA.

"It's a little unusual for a head coach to become an assistant coach," says Tredway, "but I really feel like this is one of the best jobs in the country and that I'll be working for one of the best coaches in the country. It's an opportunity for me to learn and an opportunity for me to recruit at a higher level."

Prior to taking the Mercer job, Tredway was head coach at Texas-Pan American for two years and, before that, coached at Hank Haney's golf school in Texas for two years.

After winning five times on mini tours, he delved into coaching for the first time as an assistant with the Alabama women's team in 2002-03. He realized that coaching a women's team wasn't the path he preferred and that hooking up with Haney would enhance his skills as a teacher.

Tredway, who for one year was a high school teammate of another golfer who would turn pro, Jason Allred, will have two primary responsibilities at Louisville. He'll be heavily involved in recruiting, and he and Crabtree will handle player development, along with Ted Schulz, a former Louisville player who now is on the Champions Tour.

"He's done a good job of attracting better talent to Mercer," says Crabtree, "and now he has the chance to step it up while he's here."

Louisville's best NCAA finish was 10th in 2008. The Cardinals were Big East champions for the second time last season, and Crabtree was coach of the year for the second time.

Last week, recent Louisville alum Adam Hadwin was fourth in the Canadian Open.

"There's been a track record of players coming through there who have done very well," says Tredway.

At a smaller school like Mercer, Tredway immersed himself in every part of coaching, particularly fundraising, community work and scheduling.

At Louisville, there are plenty of resources already in place.

Whereas his Mercer team had use of a local country club — not unlike many high school teams — the Cardinals have their own club. The championship course features a fancy clubhouse, offices for the coaches, locker rooms and a 20-acre practice facility set aside just for team members that includes three chipping greens, two putting greens, a two-tiered driving range and indoor facilities.

"It's amazing," says Tredway. "We've got everything you need to be a successful player and a successful program. Our facility is as good, if not better, than those of the top programs in the country."

They also have at their disposal a dozen area courses that afford the opportunity to play on different types of grasses and layouts, depending on which tournament they must prepare for in a given week. One of them is Valhalla, site of the 2008 Ryder Cup.

Now it's up to Tredway to bring in the players.

"I'd like to think I bring a lot (to the table)," he says, "but experience in developing players and finding talent is extremely beneficial at this stage of the program. The lifeblood of a program is recruiting. If we can go out and find players with talent who love the University of Louisville, we'll be successful. I feel that's my strength, and hopefully I can keep doing that."

Have a local golf story idea? Reach sports editor Tim Trower at 541-776-4479, or email ttrower@mailtribune.com