Kenneth Victor Payne (born November 25, 1966) is an American college basketball coach and former player who is the head men's basketball coach at the University of Louisville. Prior to being hired at Louisville, Payne spent two seasons as an assistant coach with the New York Knicks of the National Basketball Association (NBA). A 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m) and 195 lb (88 kg) small forward, Payne played college basketball at Louisville and was a member of the 1986 NCAA championship squad. He was selected by the Philadelphia 76ers with the 19th pick of the 1989 NBA draft.[1]

Kenny Payne
Payne with the Kentucky Wildcats in 2014
Louisville Cardinals
PositionHead coach
LeagueAtlantic Coast Conference
Personal information
Born (1966-11-25) November 25, 1966 (age 57)
Laurel, Mississippi, U.S.
Listed height6 ft 8 in (2.03 m)
Listed weight195 lb (88 kg)
Career information
High schoolNortheast Jones
(Laurel, Mississippi)
CollegeLouisville (1985–1989)
NBA draft1989: 1st round, 19th overall pick
Selected by the Philadelphia 76ers
Playing career1989–2000
PositionSmall forward
Coaching career2004–present
Career history
As player:
19891993Philadelphia 76ers
1993–1994Tri-City Chinook
1999–2000Cairns Taipans
As coach:
2004–2009Oregon (assistant)
2010–2014Kentucky (assistant)
2014–2020Kentucky (associate HC)
20202022New York Knicks (assistant)
Career highlights and awards
As player:

As assistant coach:

Stats Edit this at Wikidata at
Stats Edit this at Wikidata at

Playing career edit

Payne played for the University of Louisville from 1986 to 1989, winning a national title as a freshman in a victory over Duke. As a starter his last two years at Louisville, he averaged 10.7 points and 5 rebounds as junior, and 14.5 points and 5.7 rebounds as senior, while shooting 51% from the field, including 43% on 3-pointers. His last season, Louisville won the Metro Conference tournament and was rated 12th in the final poll and the team made it to the Sweet 16.

In four NBA seasons from 1989 to 1993 for the Philadelphia 76ers, he averaged 3.5 points and 1.2 rebounds per game. He was waived by the team in January 1993 after failing to live up to expectations.[1] He also played professionally overseas in Italy, Japan, Brazil, the Philippines, Cyprus, China, Argentina and Australia.[2] Following his NBA stint, Payne played one season in the Continental Basketball Association (CBA) in 1993–94, averaging 16.3 points and 6.3 rebounds per game for the Tri-City Chinook.[3]

Coaching career edit

Payne served as assistant coach for the University of Oregon from 2004 to 2009. From 2010 to 2014, Payne served as assistant coach for the University of Kentucky; from 2014 to 2020, he was the associate head coach.[4][5] In 2012, Payne met with Mississippi State University's athletic director about its men's basketball team's head coach vacancy,[6] though ultimately he was not hired.[7]

On August 11, 2020, the New York Knicks hired Payne as assistant coach under head coach Tom Thibodeau.[8]

On March 18, 2022, Payne was introduced as the new head men's basketball coach at the University of Louisville. He finished his first year as head coach with only four wins, the worst record in modern history for any Louisville basketball team.

There is some frustration and anger in the fanbase who are speaking out to terminate Payne as coach with an open petition, a website and a song called "Fire Kenny Payne".[9][10]

Head coaching record edit

Statistics overview
Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Louisville Cardinals (Atlantic Coast Conference) (2022–present)
2022–23 Louisville 4–28 2–18 15th
2023–24 Louisville 4–4 0–1
Louisville: 8–32 (.200) 2–19 (.095)
Total: 8–32 (.200)

      National champion         Postseason invitational champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion

Personal life edit

Payne and his wife Michelle have two children.[2] One of his children, Zan, is a player for the Louisville Cardinals men's basketball team.

References edit

  1. ^ a b "Detroit, Clippers Find Game Has A Lighter Side". January 7, 1993. Retrieved November 12, 2020.
  2. ^ a b "Kenny Payne Biography". Archived from the original on September 27, 2008. Retrieved November 12, 2020.
  3. ^ 1994-95 Official CBA Guide and Register, page 328
  4. ^ "Kenny Payne - Men's Basketball Coach". University of Kentucky Athletics. 11 August 2012. Archived from the original on October 27, 2020. Retrieved November 12, 2020.
  5. ^ Lindsey, Eric (August 11, 2020). "Payne Accepts Assistant Coach Position with New York Knicks". Retrieved November 12, 2020.
  6. ^ "Report: Miss. St., Kenny Payne meet". March 31, 2012. Retrieved November 12, 2020.
  7. ^ "Mississippi State hires Rick Ray". April 1, 2012. Retrieved November 12, 2020.
  8. ^ "New York Knicks Name Kenny Payne Assistant Coach". August 11, 2020. Retrieved November 12, 2020.
  9. ^ Today, RUSS BROWN, Kentucky (November 5, 2023). "Payne: Criticism warrented as Cards head into season debut vs. UMBC". Kentucky Today.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  10. ^ "Fire Kenny Payne" – via

External links edit