The school said Thursday that Keatts will take over after the Cardinals' season ends. Louisville plays Kentucky on Friday night in a Midwest Regional semifinal.
UNC Wilimington athletic director Kenny Bass calls Keatts ''one of the top young basketball coaches in the country.''
The 41-year-old Keatts is in his third year on Rick Pitino's staff and before that was Hargrave Military Academy's coach.
He replaces Buzz Peterson, who was fired earlier this month following his fourth consecutive losing season with the Seahawks. They were 9-23 this season and 3-13 in the Colonial Athletic Association.
• UNC Wilmington fires Peterson