Louisville Cardinals MBB Parts Ways Head Coach Kenny Payne


In a significant announcement from the University of Louisville, Director of Athletics Josh Heird revealed on Wednesday that Kenny Payne will not return as the men’s basketball head coach next season.

Heird emphasized Payne’s deep-rooted connection to the university, acknowledging his nearly four-decade-long commitment and contribution to Louisville’s basketball legacy. Despite Payne’s extensive ties to the institution, Heird underscored the necessity for a coaching transition to propel the program towards its anticipated goals and achievements.

Expressing gratitude for Payne’s unwavering dedication, Heird recognized the challenging decision to pursue a coaching change. He conveyed heartfelt appreciation to Payne for his enduring service to UofL, extending best wishes to him and his family for their future endeavors.

With Payne’s tenure culminating, the Cardinals conclude a challenging chapter, marked by a record of 12-52 overall and a 5-37 performance against ACC opponents under his leadership. Payne’s inaugural season at the helm in 2022-23 saw the Cardinals finishing with a 4-28 record, followed by an 8-24 record in his second season.

Returning to UofL after coaching stints with the New York Knicks, University of Kentucky, and University of Oregon, Payne brought a wealth of experience and a deep understanding of the game. As a former student-athlete at UofL, he contributed significantly to the Cardinals’ basketball success, notably as a member of Louisville’s 1986 NCAA Championship team.

Amidst Payne’s departure, the University of Louisville initiates a national search for its next head coach, commencing immediately. The university remains steadfast in its commitment to identifying a leader who can guide the men’s basketball program towards sustained excellence and success on and off the court.