Ron Cooper vs. Kenny Payne

Comparing all time lows at the University of Louisville
What a train wreck...
What a train wreck... / SOPA Images/GettyImages

The Ron Cooper era ended on Nov 1, 1997. The crowd was less than 13,000 including me and my good friend Chris. My beer was half flat. I was a few rows up, north of center on the covered side of Old Cardinal Stadium ( the last game there). I watched Louisville lose to East Carolina.

The Pirates were coming off a big win at Memphis that broke a long losing streak. Louisville lost to literally everyone that year except a winless Illinois team. Cooper finished his Louisville tenure with 13 wins (.393). Seven wins were in year one with the remainder of Howard Schnellenberger’s team. One positive note, Cooper was 2-1 versus Kentucky.

The Kenny Payne era (presumably) ended on March 12, 2024. Louisville lost the season's last eight games and exited the ACC tournament on day one. Payne is 12-52 not including embarrassing exhibition losses. His .187 winning percentage is unfathomable. The crowds were so bad at the KFCYum! Center concessions stands were closed due to lack of use.

Cooper and Payne are arguably the worst Louisville coaches in their respective sports in modern times. I have said this before and I think it is important:

"I hate it for the players. I hate it for the fans. I hate it for all the Louisville connections on the coaching staff. I hate it for Kenny. He’s a Louisville guy (absent that stint down I-64 at the school that shall remain nameless). I hate it for his teammates and supporters that showed up on that day in March 2022."

Athletic Director, Josh Heird is on the clock.

Tick Tock
Tick Tock / Jeff Faughender/Courier Journal / USA