Kenny Payne will reportedly be the next head coach of the Louisville Cardinals by the end of the week, according to Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports.
Payne, the current assistant coach for the New York Knicks, spent ten seasons in Lexington with Kentucky coach John Calipari.
Payne was an assistant with the Wildcats from 2010-14 before being named Associate Head Coach in 2015, a position he held until he left for the NBA in 2020.
Calipari met with the media in Indianapolis Wednesday to preview the NCAA Tournament, where he was asked about reports of Payne joining the opposite side of the in-state rivalry.
“First of all, he’s a dear friend,” Calipar said Wednesday. “They could not hire anybody that will do a better job than Kenny Payne. Great coach, great human being, great husband, great father, Louisville graduate. He should’ve been hired before there. If they get him, they get the best of the best.”
“If that’s who they named, they made the right choice. I wish they’d done it four years ago,” Calipari continued. “The state of Kentucky deserves to have both programs (be good). That’s how it should be.”