All three of the University of Kentucky basketball program’s assistant coaches have received raises and contract extensions, according to documents obtained by the Herald-Leader.
Kenny Payne, who was promoted to associate head coach in 2014, will earn an average of $775,000 per year over a new deal that extends through the 2019-2020 season, effectively a two-year extension from his previous contract.
Payne, who has been on the UK coaching staff since John Calipari’s second season in 2010-11, will earn $750,000 per year over the next two seasons and $800,000 per year for the 2018-19 and 2019-20 seasons.
Often mentioned as a candidate for head coaching jobs, Payne is one of the highest-paid assistant coaches in the country. He has the reputation as one of the top recruiters nationally, and he’s played an integral role in many of UK’s highest-profile recruitments in recent years.
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John Robic is the only assistant coach remaining from Calipari’s original staff at Kentucky, and he has signed a two-year contract that will pay him $430,000 annually. That’s a $15,000-a-season raise from his previous deal, which was set to expire last month.
Robic, 52, has ceded some of his offseason coaching duties — such as off-campus recruiting — to UK special assistant Joel Justus this summer. Robic’s new deal, which became official July 1, still refers to him as an “assistant coach” and runs through June 2018.
Tony Barbee, a former Auburn head coach, joined Calipari’s staff two years ago and was promoted to a full assistant coach before last season. His new two-year deal is worth $400,000 per season, a $25,000 raise from last season, which he worked on a one-year contract.