"I have wanted to be a coach since my high school days," Padgett, who attended Wednesday's practice, said. "I always thought I would play at Kentucky and then coach. I kind of just fell into the NBA. If I had not played in the NBA, I probably would have been coaching a long time ago.
"This will open more doors in the future for me just like playing in the NBA did. I don't mind starting at the bottom and working my way up."
Calipari said several former UK players recommended Padgett. He said he first met Delk at a "coaching family retreat" he attends each year that Larry Brown started and now any former player of his who is a coach can attend and bring a guest.
"I told them if they wanted to get started, they are going to start at the bottom of the totem pole. But that's what they want to do," Calipari said.
Sending a message
He hopes that sends a strong message to other former UK players.
"A lot of them know me from my pro experience. Tayshaun (Prince) and Nazr (Mohammed) have grabbed me. Guys called me to take the job here," Calipari said. "I want those guys here in the summer working out. I want all the guys in the league (NBA) that are playing that want to come here to Lexington and stay the summer to use these facilities. That's good for them and us."
Calipari hopes Padgett and Delk can look to former NBA player Rod Strickland for inspiration. He joined Calipari's staff after a 17-year professional career.
"Rod Strickland started just like Tony and Scott are starting at the bottom. The guy was a 17-year NBA veteran and he was checking classes (to see if players were attending). And he did it and everything else he was supposed to do. He hated it, but he did it because he knew that was part of his job," Calipari said.
He wants his current assistants, Orlanda Antigua and John Robic to continue to have the same freedom and responsibilities at UK they had at Memphis.
"They are here to be head coaches. The list goes on of assistants who are now head coaches and they take guys with them to coach with them," Calipari said. "I want them all to live their dream and run their own program or be the guy that replaces me. Now Scott and Tony get a chance to start living another dream they both have."