Former UofL players want Kenny Payne as next coach

Kenny Payne has become a lynchpin of Kentucky’s success in the John Calipari era; now, Louisville players want him back.

Rick Bozich spoke to several former UofL players in the wake of Kentucky’s 29-point win over the Cards who said that they want Payne to take over for interim head coach David Padgett. 

“It’s not even a tough call,” former Cardinal Pervis Ellison said. “If they hire Kenny to step into that job, there won’t be any letdown. The program will go immediately to the top, because Kenny understands how to create and build relationships.

“He’s paid his dues. He’s been through the grind. He’s ready for this opportunity.”

Larry Brown told Bozich he believes Payne is ready for the opportunity.

“Honestly, I don’t understand why somebody hasn’t already hired him as a head coach. But with his connections to the Louisville program and the state, it’s a perfect fit to me.”

While Payne probably is ready for the opportunity, he’s making a pretty penny to be Kentucky’s assistant head coach and wields plenty of power and influence in his current position. Returning to his alma mater may be tempting, but with Louisville facing a rocky future, now is not the time…especially if his son walks on at Kentucky.



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