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‘I am grateful for them’: Illini assistants Antigua, Coleman leaving for UK

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Underwood is speaking out on his assistants leaving.

Illinois head coach Brad Underwood released a statement Thursday morning on the hiring of assistants Orlando Antigua and Ron ‘Chin’ Coleman at Kentucky.

“Orlando and Chin have been instrumental in the building of this program from day one, and they deserve a lot of credit for the success that we’ve experienced,” Underwood said. “They are dear friends who I’ll miss working alongside each day, and I am grateful for the impact they’ve had on my life, which is bigger than basketball.

“All the best to Coach O and Coach Chin from the Fighting Illini.”

We reported earlier this week that both coaches were headed to Lexington, according to CatsPause.com.

Antigua previously served under Calipari with Memphis and Kentucky from 2008-14. The Dominican Republic native then went on to spend three seasons at the helm of USF before joining Brad Underwood’s staff at Illinois.

Ron “Chin” Coleman spent the last four seasons with the Illini as an assistant coach after spending two seasons in the same role at UIC.

Both coaches played integral parts on the recruiting trail and are tough losses for the Illini program. Illinois has both spots to currently fill on the staff.