Ex-L’ville coach Payne rejoins Calipari with Hogs

  • Myron Medcalf, ESPN Personnel WriterApr 18, 2024, 08:59 PM ET


    • Covers college basketball
    • Signed up with ESPN.com in 2011
    • Graduate of Minnesota State University, Mankato

After their effective stint together at Kentucky, new Arkansas coach John Calipari has actually reunited with Kenny Payne, the previous Louisville head coach.Payne, who was fired by Louisville last month, will function as associate head coach on Calipari’s staff in Fayetteville, it was announced Thursday.From 2010 to 2020, Payne was an assistant and associate head coach during Calipari’s most effective years at Kentucky. Payne was kept in mind for his deal with a few of the notable big men who anchored the program, consisting of NBA All-Stars Anthony Davis, Karl-Anthony Towns and Bam Adebayo.With Payne on personnel, Calipari won his lone national championship in 2012 and participated

in a streak of four Last 4 appearances in five seasons. Previous players would often return to Lexington throughout the NBA offseason to work with Payne, who left Kentucky in 2020 for a role as an assistant with the New York Knicks.Editor’s Picks 2 Associated Calipari had his worst years after Payne left the program, consisting of a 9-16 season in 2020-21. The Wildcats likewise had 2 first-round losses in the

NCAA competition over 3 seasons.In 2022, Payne left the Knicks for Louisville, where he ended up 12-52 and had a hard time to discover momentum over 2 seasons. While the detractors grew louder in Payne’s 2nd season– he won a national title with the Cardinals as a player in 1986– Calipari remained helpful. “He’s got a truly young group,”Calipari stated about Payne at the Champions Classic in November.”And you’ve got to let him go and do what he does. The players love him since they bet him.

They never ever released the rope. And I’m seeing and I feel for him. Shoot, we went through it a couple of years ago. The people get indicate and nasty. They do. Which’s what you have to deal with in this occupation. … My guess is he’ll have this program– within a year– where everybody wants it. It’s just that the growing discomforts are unpleasant. We went through it.”Payne goes back to Calipari’s staff as both coaches look for a new start in Fayetteville. Calipari amazed lots of when he chose the Razorbacks, which have not won a nationwide title considering that 1994, just days after he and Kentucky athletic director Mitch Barnhart discussed moving forward in a series of media appearances.Kentucky has since employed previous BYU coach Mark Pope, who won a nationwide title at Kentucky in 1996. After previous Arkansas players went into the transfer website, Calipari has because received a commitment from Zvonimir Ivisic, the 7-footer who played for him at Kentucky. And every crucial member of his nationally ranked hiring class at Kentucky has actually decommitted since his departure, unlocking to more top skill perhaps following him to Fayetteville.At Arkansas, Calipari will reportedly have the NIL help of deep-pocketed boosters, such as Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, Tyson Foods primary financial officer John Tyson and the Walton family, which owns Walmart.

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