Former Louisville Coach Kenny Payne Joins John Calipari’s Arkansas Staff

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

Kenny Payne, who served as an assistant coach at Kentucky for a decade under John Calipari, has been appointed as the associate head coach for the Arkansas Razorbacks, reuniting with Calipari in this new venture. Payne’s tenure at Louisville ended in March after a challenging stint as head coach, where the team struggled with a record of 12-52 over two seasons.

During his time at Kentucky from 2010 to 2020, Payne played a significant role in the team’s success, serving as both an assistant and later an associate head coach under Calipari. Together, they contributed to notable achievements for the Wildcats, including securing a national title in 2012, reaching another championship game in 2014, and participating in four Final Fours, showcasing their prowess in college basketball.

Kenny Payne’s renown at Kentucky stemmed from his prowess in nurturing talent and his pivotal role in the program’s robust recruitment endeavors.

Kenny Payne
Kenny Payne (Credits: ESPN Arkansas)

Former Wildcat and NBA All-Star Karl-Anthony Towns hailed Payne as among the finest development coaches worldwide, underscoring his instrumental contribution to propelling Kentucky basketball to new heights. These attributes render his inclusion in the Arkansas coaching staff notably impactful as the Razorbacks strive to fortify their lineup and enhance their on-court performance.

Recruiting emerges as a critical focus for Arkansas, especially considering the current state of the team’s roster, with only one player listed. The departure of Calipari from Kentucky presents an opportunity for Arkansas, with five players from Kentucky’s 2024 recruiting class de-committing following Calipari’s exit. Among them, Wildcats freshman Zvonimir Ivisic has opted to transfer to Arkansas, potentially signaling a positive turn for the Razorbacks amidst the shifting landscape of college basketball recruitment.


By Richard

All in one crazy for sports, especially baseball.

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