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Louisville has Reportedly Requested Permission to Interview Kenny Payne

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.


Article written by Nick Roush

"Look upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." @RoushKSR

73 Comments for Louisville has Reportedly Requested Permission to Interview Kenny Payne

  1. Catcasey1
    7:55 pm March 24, 2018 Permalink


  2. Twick39
    8:08 pm March 24, 2018 Permalink

    Tell them to phuck off!

  3. Rembrandt
    8:09 pm March 24, 2018 Permalink

    If this report is aaccurate, then that means UL doesn’t have a deal in place with the Chris Mack as rumored on multiple websites.

    I am willing to bet Kenny won’t buy the snake oil. He is a great candidate, but he can do better. When Kenny turns down UL, that’s when the cold chill of reality sets in.

    • CatBlue in LR
      9:28 pm March 24, 2018 Permalink

      It’s his alma mater, for Pete’s sake. I wouldn’t blame him at all for taking a good, hard look at it.

    • 4everUKblue
      10:10 pm March 24, 2018 Permalink

      He would have to be a fool to take that job.

    • tylerwoods22
      11:41 pm March 24, 2018 Permalink

      He would have to be a fool NOT to take that job. As much as I hate them it’s a top job and big money

    • TXwildcat57
      12:19 am March 25, 2018 Permalink

      Tylerwoods – I agree…every coach gets into the business to run their own program…that’s a program a good percentage of college b-ball coaches would love to have…it’s his alma mater on top of that…root for Kenny and appreciate what he’s done for KY (he’s had a big impact on the development of players to come through here the last 9 years)…do your thing Coach Payne…you deserve it

    • henderblue
      9:42 am March 25, 2018 Permalink

      He sure would

    • syrin23
      12:14 am March 25, 2018 Permalink

      I wonder if Payne is as tired as I am to losing to lesser talented teams in the tourney under Cal. He could go to U of L, convince Richards, Kalaiya Jones and others to transfer, then win with the talent that Cal could not win with.

    • TXwildcat57
      12:31 am March 25, 2018 Permalink

      syrin23 – I bet you are just as miserable in your everyday life as you portray in your posts you display to everyone that’s reads these comments…enjoy life…enjoy good moments…don’t let your frustration for the b-ball play of 18-20 year old kids dictate your outlook on life

      Focus on keeping your family happy and lay off Cal…you sound very childish and immature when you voice your opinions

    • syrin23
      12:57 am March 25, 2018 Permalink

      Most here would be jealous of my life, and this stuff doesn’t spill over into my real world. Am I frustrated and done with Cal? Absolutely. I vent that here for sure. We have enough to see what his body of work is and where this program is going. It’s not good. Your advice is spot on, but so are my points about Cal. Go back and look at my posts, and look to see how many actually address the content or my points. NO ONE has. They just hate the messenger, which is also unhealthy. Tell me that you don’t think the same thing will happen next year. Next year Coach K will have all the talent but super young team, yet some how they will be the favorite to win it all. Why is that? Is his talent so much better than what Cal has, or does he get more out of his talent than Cal does? I know what I think.

    • syrin23
      1:00 am March 25, 2018 Permalink

      And what’s childish? Pointing out facts? Do you REALLY think that if Payne went to U of L he WOULDN’T try to get some of our players to transfer? Are you as naive as you portray here? What would be interesting to see is how much more he would get out of the same players as a head coach versus what Cal would.

    • 4everUKblue
      9:41 am March 25, 2018 Permalink

      I can’t believe you brought your wife into all this. But why would KP want to get in the middle of this dumpster fire, he does deserve much better. Just curious who all you Cal haters would want to replace him with. I’ve heard Izzo, Tony Bennett and Bruce Pearl. Izzo is the only one of that trio who has won anything, all three got embarrassed far worse than UK did. So who do your coaching experts want?

    • 4everUKblue
      9:51 am March 25, 2018 Permalink

      And oh by the way Izzo hasn’t won a NC in 18 years. Syrin’s head would explode and his wife would surely divorce him and find an intelligent man.

    • henderblue
      10:16 am March 25, 2018 Permalink

      Lol…that’s funny

  4. Noooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Han
    8:26 pm March 24, 2018 Permalink

    In no way meant to diminish Payne or their interest in him, but if they’re already locked in on Mack, is floating Payne’s name their way of meeting any version of a Rooney Rule for college hiring?

    I know positions at state schools have to be listen a minimal number of days publicly, but I don’t know if there are any diversity requirements. Also, Louisville’s just a commuter college anyway.

    • Catlogic15
      8:43 pm March 24, 2018 Permalink

      If Mack all but in place, why the noise? Junior Bridgeman and Eaves been lobbying hard for an African American coach to be interviewed at least, and specifically Payne but this looks like the horse has left the barn unless Mack said no. Otherwise it’s another embarrassment for UL.

    • syrin23
      12:15 am March 25, 2018 Permalink

      Can we get Chris Mack?

    • TXwildcat57
      12:37 am March 25, 2018 Permalink

      Syrin23 – you continue to amaze me with your comments…you look for attention similar to shock jock sports analyst to make yourself feel included…you are no different than Skip Bayless or Colin Cowherd…0 knowledge about sports but make statements to get a rise out of people

      Be original bruh

    • henderblue
      9:45 am March 25, 2018 Permalink

      Yes. You’re going to get him at your U6. Enjoy getting your brains beat in every year for a while. Again

    • syrin23
      1:03 am March 25, 2018 Permalink

      Zero knowledge? Really? Then where are the refutations about my VERY specific criticisms of Cal? Hm? Those last four minutes of teh UK Wisconsin game were the worst coached minutes of basketball I have seen at any level without hyperbole. Hey numb nuts. The line up in the game for K State at the end of the game had no one over 6’2″, the SMALLEST we faced all year. We didn’t have a player SHORTER than 6’5″ on the floor until Quade, take a bad shot, Green came in. They couldn’t deny the entry pass OR the turn around jump shot. ANY quality coach who that enormous of a size advantage would have ABUSED it. Since YOU have all the basketball knowledge and condescending attitude, TELL ME WHERE I AM WRONG.

    • catsarerunnin
      3:31 pm March 25, 2018 Permalink

      It’s offensive to dbags to call syrin a dbag.

    • 4everUKblue
      9:44 am March 25, 2018 Permalink

      Syrin maybe you should let your wife take over your account, she is surely the brains of your family.

  6. Mathlete
    8:30 pm March 24, 2018 Permalink

    No!!! You can’t have him!

  7. Swizzle
    8:37 pm March 24, 2018 Permalink

    Double win, we keep Kenny they hire a choking scrub they believe is elite. Welcome to the bball kragthorpe era at ul

  8. dballrb
    8:47 pm March 24, 2018 Permalink

    bout to watch Matthews ball out..late..

  9. 57nukeduke
    8:53 pm March 24, 2018 Permalink

    Isn’t Kevin Stallings still available? He seems like the perfect fit.

  10. antiquefurnitureandmidgets
    9:15 pm March 24, 2018 Permalink

    Why would you let Padgett go if this is all you’re going to do? Not buying it.

  11. Bigsmooth88
    9:30 pm March 24, 2018 Permalink

    Probably have Mack locked up, wanting to make him #1 assistant.

  12. UKinIN
    10:06 pm March 24, 2018 Permalink

    Calipari needs to address recruiting and offense in his staff. Matt implied that there would be changes because of recruiting misses but I don’t think he had Payne in mind. Whether Payne stays or goes it will be an interesting offseason for Calipari.

  13. trujustin
    10:20 pm March 24, 2018 Permalink

    I see what you did there. Their last national championship, lol. Go Cats!

  14. TB112162
    10:31 pm March 24, 2018 Permalink

    So Nick what source has told you that Chris Mack has taken the job

  15. CKTermy23
    10:57 pm March 24, 2018 Permalink

    I think Tony Barber is going to Memphis so i would bring back Orlando Antigua to help with recruiting. Then I would let Kenny Payne go be a head coach somewhere other than UofL,and bring back Tubby Smith (Kenny Payne’s replacement) as the overall assistant Couch. To help Cal with X’s and O’s and provide Cal with an excellent mentor with experience being a head coach and experience being a head coach at Kentucky.

  16. KYJelly
    11:13 pm March 24, 2018 Permalink

    I doubt Cal would need Tubby as an “experienced coach”, he’s done this for about 25 years. Definitely need Coach O back. Don’t want to lose Payne, but could care less about Barbee

    • syrin23
      12:18 am March 25, 2018 Permalink

      He’s done it POORLY in the tournament for 25 years. Choked a title away at Memphis, and now about a half dozen shite losses at UK. Dude only won with a once in every ten years players surrounded by elite shooters and STILL played stall ball and made the game closer than it should have been. He can’t pull a Brad Stevens and take fairly decent talent deep in the tournament multiple years in a row.

    • TXwildcat57
      12:40 am March 25, 2018 Permalink

      Syrin23 – you make no sense

    • vandzandz
      2:55 am March 25, 2018 Permalink

      Actually he does

    • syrin23
      1:16 am March 25, 2018 Permalink

      Oh really? He LOST the title game to Kansas due to slowing down the tempo of play for a team he ran with all year. He lost the title game to Kansas because of terrible FT shooting, and he lost the title game to Kansas due to awful in game coaching moves. Sound familiar?

      Tell me how many NBA ALL STARS were on the West Virginia team we lost to versus UK?

      Tell me how many NBA players were on the UConn team we lost to versus UK? The UConn game was the easiest of the last two games we faced that year and lost by a decent margin.

      Tell me how many NBA players IU had versus the UK team. One?

      Tell me how many NBA ALL STARS that Wisconsin team had versus UK?

      Tell me how many NBA scouts even look at the K. State roster versus how many NBA players we have?

      Yeah, I am stupid even though EVERYTHING I just posted is factual and you captains of mediocrity can’t refute ANY of it.

      Tell me this geniuses. Why did Cal say he wants to “play fast” and that we need to “score 70 points in the tournament to win”, then NEVER push the tempo. You recruit elite athletes so you can RUN and take advantage of that athleticism in the open floor, not some grind it out half court game. Shai WALKED the ball up the court. WALKED SLOWLY. That means fewer possessions, no transition looks. It NULLIFIES our athletic advantage. Loyola RAN the ball up the court and got at least three threes in against the SAME DAMN TEAM in transition. At the end of the game, they had the smallest line up we faced ALL YEAR. If ANY of us had been the coach, and had four players over 6’7″ being guarded at most by a 6’2″ player, we would have ABUSED that since they couldn’t deny the entry pass, the turn around jump shot, nor gotten the defensive rebound. BAD COACHING. Go ahead, refute ANY POINT HERE.

      Face it. You all accept mediocrity. Name me the FF teams from last year. How about the year before that or the year before that? You all ACCEPT that as the litmus test. Cal has an enormous salary and an abundance of talent and has the same number of titles as Gary Williams and Tubby Smith. Again, FACTS people.

    • MasterBurglar
      10:10 am March 25, 2018 Permalink

      Bye Felicia. If you are truly done with this program. Delete your account, put away your phone, and go out to find joy in your life.

    • Righteous1
      3:25 am March 25, 2018 Permalink

      The 8 million dollar man has 0 Final Fours in the last 3 yrs but has had several lottery picks. Results do not match the talent level.

    • Righteous1
      3:33 am March 25, 2018 Permalink

      Also, history tells us that the 4 coaches that had 9 or more years at UK have 1 thing in common: 1 title. Joe Hall 1. Rick Pitino 1. Tubby Smith 1. John Calipari 1. Do not see the 8 million dollar man winning another title at UK.

    • CatManDo
      6:46 am March 25, 2018 Permalink

      Man, if I hated our coach and players so much I would probably find another program to follow. And I definitely wouldn’t waste my time on that teams’ website constantly bad mouthing them, especially calling 18-20 year olds names (you know, something intelligent adults shouldn’t do).

    • henderblue
      9:50 am March 25, 2018 Permalink

      I agree with all that CatManDo.

    • 4everUKblue
      9:48 am March 25, 2018 Permalink

      CatManDo I totally agree, if you don’t like this team and coach, pick one you can find something good to say about. All this negativity makes the BBN look bad and any prospective recruits who read this surely would not want to come here. They all complain about the one and dones but don’t want any of these players back, which make zero sense. They want to win every year with 4 year players, someone tell me how that’s going to work.

  17. Youngcat25
    11:15 pm March 24, 2018 Permalink

    CkTermy23 that’s not a bad idea

  18. Rixter
    11:15 pm March 24, 2018 Permalink

    This is for show. Louisville black leaders have been calling on the university to at least interview an African American for the job. That’s what they’re doing. Kenny Payne is NOT going to be offered the job.

  19. chris43
    11:15 pm March 24, 2018 Permalink

    PLEASE! PLEASE! PLEASE! Tell me that UK pays up (if needed) to keep KP! Excellent assistant coach and recruiter! We DO NOT need to lose this guy!

  20. BamaBlue
    11:36 pm March 24, 2018 Permalink

    Why on earth would Mack or anyone else for that matter want to become part of that dumpster fire?

    11:43 pm March 24, 2018 Permalink

    I would hope that if K.P. actually gave the UofL job any serious consideration, Cal would fire him, simply because he wouldn’t want someone that stupid on his staff.

  22. Cat68
    11:46 pm March 24, 2018 Permalink

    I like KP for recruiting I suppose but his focus is developing our bigs; and they haven’t exactly set the world on fire. If he wants to set his career back at least 5 years then go to the Cards. Not a huge hit for us so not too worried either way.

  23. CKTermy23
    1:05 am March 25, 2018 Permalink

    We Definitely need Coach O Back ASAP we started losing recruits to Duke once he left.

  24. CKTermy23
    1:08 am March 25, 2018 Permalink

    Topic of the Night who should replace Cal when that time comes?

  25. CKTermy23
    1:11 am March 25, 2018 Permalink

    Mack would simply take the UL Job because he can make way more money at UL than Xavier would be willing to offer him to stay.

  26. bigbluehank
    2:22 am March 25, 2018 Permalink

    Besides Robic, Payne is the only competent member of Cal’s staff. Barbee has contributed nothing despite his head coaching background. Why does Cal think he owes him a spot on the staff? Justus has been a huge disappointment. Has he played a role in recruiting at all? Demoting Robic was one of Cal’s biggest mistakes. After all, Robic has more X and O knowledge than the head coach.

    • UKfanforlife
      8:32 am March 25, 2018 Permalink

      Have you ever thought that Robic might have wanted to step away from recruiting and do less traveling?

    • Racerr11
      8:46 am March 25, 2018 Permalink

      Syrin23 or whatever he calls himself is an idiot. Has no knowledge of sports it’s so obvious he’s not worth messing with. Cal if not the best coach in college basketball definitely top 2 or 3 in the country. Any coach can’t go out there and shoot free throws for them. PJ let it get mental on it escalated. As far as UofL goes and Kenny Payne it’s just a token interview to say we spoke with a diverse group for the job they have no intentions of hiring him it’s just to satisfy the skin color thing for some UofL supporters and former players but there much smarter than anyone in charge of the school and the city.The formers and supporters see thru the continuing smoke screen that the school continues to blow up people’s pants legs. The university and city of Louisville continue to look like the dumbest people ever. Chris Mack a big time coach, lol wow ,no way so if they do sign him which is pretty obvious there going to, he will be fired in 2 or 3 years because there fans and the school think he should of brought them back in that amount of time … way. The next round will be worse with the NCAA much worse believe me . Probably death penalty or 2 to 3 years probation . Lack of institutional control will be the next charge against u of L and very deservedly so.By not firing pitino and jurich after the second scandal the stripper ordeal will cost them dearly again.

    • 4everUKblue
      9:49 am March 25, 2018 Permalink

      BINGO Racerr! You hit the nail on the head.

    • henderblue
      9:55 am March 25, 2018 Permalink

      All in a couple sentences too!!

    • 4everUKblue
      10:10 am March 25, 2018 Permalink

      Hank hasn’t gotten any smarter either.

  27. UKfanforlife
    8:29 am March 25, 2018 Permalink

    I would hate to see Coach Payne leave. Like the young men who leave early for the draft to get paid, I couldn’t be anything but happy for him, if he decided to take a head coaching job, even if it was Louisville.

  28. kybirdieman
    8:44 am March 25, 2018 Permalink

    If we lose Payne Cal will be in big trouble. Ever since we lost Antigua things have been the same. I think he was the key to getting the elite recruits,that we have never had since he left. Hope he gets it it is a top rate job,and at his alma mater. I would think he would be tired of Cal’s one and done as most fans are getting.

  29. bankerbh
    8:51 am March 25, 2018 Permalink

    Cal has a lot in common with Stoops and they both have issues managing certain in-game situations. Do you think Bill Belichik would get to the end of a game and not thought through different scenarios and be prepared for each one of them? And what is going on with our assistants? Great leaders surround themselves with the highest talent. The assistants should be in Cal’s ear well in advance of the last seconds of the game telling him to consider a time out. Just sayin.

    • 4everUKblue
      10:09 am March 25, 2018 Permalink

      Uhhh if you really are a banker you should stick to banking, that is if you know anything about it. You sure as hell don’t know anything else.

    • bankerbh
      1:05 pm March 25, 2018 Permalink

      4ever……You didn’t refute any of my comments. Thanks for proving my point.

    • 4everUKblue
      7:51 pm March 25, 2018 Permalink

      You didn’t say anything worthy of even acknowledging…except your glaring ignorance of the game.

  30. Racerr11
    8:52 am March 25, 2018 Permalink

    We have some very ridiculous fans UK I’m talking about.Believe me Cal has won at every school he’s coached at and had multiple assistants at each school so whoever we have at the assistant spots were gonna continue to always be one if the best and the Gold standard of college basketball.

  31. My Dixie Wrecked
    10:06 am March 25, 2018 Permalink

    But, but, but, but…Matt Jones said Chris Mack to Louisville was a done deal!

  32. TB112162
    1:46 pm March 25, 2018 Permalink

    Syrin23 go cheer for somebody we don’t need your kind of fan stupid and negative

  33. FlatTopsAndBlockedShots
    3:36 pm March 25, 2018 Permalink

    At the Coaches Clinic back in October there was a long Q&A session that Kenny Payne hosted. A question someone so boldly asked, point blank, “Since the Louisville job will be open do you want to become the Head Coach of your alma mater?”. Kenny Payne answered very gracefully while speaking very high of his time at Louisville and becoming a man there but the overall statement made was that “you don’t leave this opportunity for that opportunity”.

  34. Jiminy Crickets
    5:32 pm March 25, 2018 Permalink

    Is there a rule that minority coaches have to be included in the interview process? I know the NBA has one. The UL people I know, have said negotiations with Mack started 2-3 months ago, and it will be announced Monday or Tuesday