Kenny Payne was probably paid quite well before his new contract as an assistant coach -- he's actually given the title of associate head coach -- with the Kentucky Wildcats but now he's basically getting head coach money at smaller schools.
Kenny Payne has signed a three-year deal worth a total of $2.1 million, the Louisville Courier-Journal reported Monday. His average annual salary of $700,000 is higher than at least 22 of last season's NCAA tournament head coaches, according to USA Today's annual study, and more than twice as high as at least 14 of them.
Basketball is certainly a way of life down at Kentucky and this kind of money going to an assistant coach certainly reinforces that.
Philadelphia fans may remember Payne as the Sixers' 19th overall selection in the 1989 draft and for playing on those awful teams of the mid 90's. He played just four years in Philly before embarking on a journeyman career that took him all over the world including Italy, China, Japan, and Brazil.
Payne is credited with helping develop Kentucky's gaggle of impressive big men from Anthony Davis to the Sixers own Nerlens Noel. He may have never lived up to the hype he brought to the NBA but plenty of his pupils certainly have. His bank account thanks him for the latter.