UK Men's Basketball

UK basketball coaches receive raises, contract extensions

Assistant coaches John Robic, left, and Kenny Payne worked the sideline after head coach John Calipari was ejected during Kentucky’s game against South Carolina in February.
Assistant coaches John Robic, left, and Kenny Payne worked the sideline after head coach John Calipari was ejected during Kentucky’s game against South Carolina in February. cbertram@herald-leader.com

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.

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.

Ben Roberts: 859-231-3216, @NextCats

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