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TRACK & FIELD
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A member of the 1986 NCAA champion Louisville Cardinals, Kenny Payne joined the Oregon staff in the summer of 2004.
He helped reshape the offense and defense that produced the remarkable 2006-07 season when Oregon went 29-8 in winning the Pac-10 tournament and advancing to the NCAA Elite Eight.
His connections in the South began to pay off with LeKendric Longmire coming to Oregon out of Payne’s native Mississippi.
Payne was also instrumental in signing Oregon’s highly regarded 2008 recruiting class -- Josh Crittle, Michael Dunigan, Matthew Humphrey, Garrett Sim, Drew Wiley and Teondre Williams.
Payne is a veteran of 10 professional basketball leagues worldwide, including a four-year stint with the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers.
He came to Louisville from Northeast Jones High School in Laurel, Miss., where he was a Parade All-American and the state’s player of the year.
At Louisville, he scored 1,083 points and shot 40 percent from three-point range during his four-year career. His best year was his senior season when he averaged 14.5 points and 5.7 rebounds per game, and was named to the All-Metro Conference team. He was coached by Hall of Famer Denny Crum at Louisville.
After Payne finished his eligibility at Louisville in 1989, he embarked on an 11-year professional career that would take him to nine countries on five different continents. He was a first-round selection in the 1989 NBA draft, going 19th overall to the 76ers. Payne averaged 3.5 points per game during his four-year NBA career with Philadelphia.
The next several seasons saw Payne play in the Continental Basketball Association (Tri-Cities, Wash.) and overseas in Italy, Japan, Brazil, the Philippines, Cypress, China and Argentina. He finished his professional career in 2000 following a season with Team Taipans of Cairns, Australia.
Payne then returned to Louisville to complete his education, and became one of the first success stories of Louisville’s Cardinal Degree Completion Program, which was started in 2000 to help former student-athletes complete their degrees. More than 14 years after playing his final game in a Louisville uniform, Payne earned his bachelor’s of science degree in sport administration in 2003.
Payne, born November 25, 1966, and his wife Michelle have two children, a son Alexander (3-23-00) and a daughter Alexis (3-11-98).