Could Kenny Payne return to his alma mater? The University of Louisville athletic department has asked the University of Kentucky for permission to speak to Payne about its head coaching vacancy, according to Evan Daniels. A UK spokesman told Kyle Tucker the school is unaware of the request.
Payne has spent the last eight seasons on John Calipari’s staff and has served as the associate head coach for the past four seasons. Often portrayed as the good cop to Cal’s bad cop, he is a players coach that keeps the team connected. He’s also arguably the best recruiter on Calipari’s staff.
Payne has spent more time at Kentucky, but he got his start at UofL. He helped the Cards win their last National Championship in 1986 and narrowly avoided death at the hands of Rex Chapman.
Former UofL players have been lobbying to see Payne as a finalist for quite some time. Despite tonight’s news, it appears that Xavier’s Chris Mack will be named the Cards’ next head coach in the coming days.