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Kenny Payne ready for many challenges as Louisville coach

Liz Schlemmer

Kenny Payne has been hired as Louisville’s men’s basketball coach with a six-year contract through 2027-28 to lead the program.

The University of Louisville Athletic Association approved the contract on Friday. Financial terms were not immediately available.

Payne is a former Cardinal player and was introduced during a crowded news conference at the KFC Yum! Center that included Hall of Fame coach Denny Crum and several former teammates.

The 55-year-old Payne is Louisville’s first Black head coach and returns to his alma mater after nearly two seasons as an assistant with the NBA’s New York Knicks. He also spent 10 seasons on John Calipari’s staff at rival Kentucky.

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