Louisville Basketball Officially Fires Kenny Payne

Kenny Payne has been relieved as head coach at Louisville
Louisville v Indiana
Louisville v Indiana / Porter Binks/GettyImages

The University of Louisville and athletic director Josh Heird has officially fired Kenny Payne as the head coach of the Louisville Cardinals. Athletic Director Josh Heird made this announcement:

""Kenny has given a great deal to this university over a span of nearly 40 years, and he will always be a valued member of our Louisville family," Heird said. "When we brought Kenny home in 2022, no one had a stronger belief than me in his potential success, but it's become clear that a change is needed to help this program achieve what is expected and attainable. While it is always difficult to make a coaching transition, this is the right one for our program. On behalf of myself and everyone involved with our men's basketball program, I want to thank Kenny for his dedication to UofL. I wish him and his family the very best in their future.""

Josh Heird, UofL Athletic Director

In the statement from the University of Louisville it stated that Josh Heird would be available to members of the media later this afternoon and that a new head coaching search will begin immediately.

Payne spent 2 seasons as the cardinal's head coach, sporting 12-52 overall record, 5-35 ACC record, 1-27 in road/neutral site games, 14 losses by 20+ points, and 33 double digit losses. Payne's time at Louisville has been historically bad and for all the wrong reasons.

After coming in as the supposed "hometown hero" Payne has sunken Louisville farther then it was then when he took over. In Chris Mack's last season Louisville had won 13 games, and in 2 seasons Payne had just won 12. Those numbers are incomprehensible, and are the reason for his firing.

Payne will likely recieve 8 million for his buyout, since Louisville decided to fire him before April 1st when his buyout would go down from 8 million to 6 million dollars. This information could change as Josh Heird will be available to the media later this afternoon.

The Louisville basketball program was getting out of a rutt when Payne got hired on as the Louisville head coach, but since his hiring it has gotten much worse. Whoever will be the next coach at Louisville will have the best chance at getting this program to the promised land, especially with no NCAA cloud.

Louisville has and will continue to love Kenny Payne for everything he did as a player and national champion, but the program could not afford another day with him being the head coach of a once storied program.

Louisville will eventually get back on track, and it all starts with another March coaching search. With names from Scott Drew, to Dusty May, and Mick Cronin it will be interesting to see who the Cardinals land for next season.

The hardest part is over though, and now Louisville fans can get excited for the future of the program without Kenny Payne at the helm of it all.