Former Louisville head coach Kenny Payne joins John Calipari’s staff at Arkansas

Former Louisville head coach Kenny Payne joins John Calipari's staff at Arkansas

Kenny Payne spent 10 years as an assistant coach at Kentucky under John Calipari. (AP Photo/James Crisp, File)

Arkansas has hired Kenny Payne as associate head coach, reuniting him with new Razorbacks head coach John Calipari.

Payne was let go by Louisville in March after going 12-52 during his two seasons as head coach.

Between 2010 and 2020, Payne was an assistant and later associate head coach under Calipari at Kentucky. The two helped the Wildcats win a national title in 2012, reach another championship game in 2014 and take part in four Final Fours.

At Kentucky, Payne was known for developing talent and helping the program deliver strong recruiting classes. Former Wildcat and four-time NBA All-Star Karl-Anthony Towns told The Athletic in 2019 that Payne is "one of the best development coaches in the world" and "the horse beneath the jockey driving Kentucky basketball.”

Recruiting will be vital now for Arkansas as only one player is currently listed on the men's team roster. But Calipari's departure from Kentucky could be a boost for the Razorbacks in more ways than one.

Five players from Kentucky's six-member recruiting class of 2024 have de-committed since Calipari's departure. Wildcats freshman Zvonimir Ivisic was one of five players to enter the transfer portal this spring. Ivisic is so far the only who has said he is heading to Arkansas.


Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button