New deals for Robic, Payne

Kentucky has made moves to retain and reward two of its top assistant coaches on the men's basketball staff.

Kentucky has made moves to retain and reward two of its top assistant coaches on the men's basketball staff.

UK Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart announced Wednesday that John Robic and Kenny Payne have signed new multi-year extensions to remain on John Calipari's staff.

Payne, who has been with UK during the last four seasons, signed a two-year deal worth $500,000 annually plus incentives and a new associate head coach title. Robic, who has been with the Cats since Calipari arrived in 2009, signed a two-year deal worth $375,000 annually with the opportunity for incentives.

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"There's not a better partner to work with to help these young men achieve their dreams," Calipari said of Payne in a statement released by the school. "His feel for the game and ability to develop players is second to none. I have all the confidence in the world that Kenny will make a great head coach someday, but we're ecstatic to have him as a part of our staff as associate head coach for the near future."

Payne is widely recognized as one of the top recruiting assistants in college basketball. He has helped UK sign four No. 1 classes and this year's No. 2 class.

Robic has been a longtime Calipari assistant dating back to their first season together at UMass in 1988-89. He specializes in advanced scouting of opponents and is often Calipari's most visible assistant on the sideline during games.

"No one knows me better and knows what I need to be prepared to coach a game than John," Calipari said. "He's been a loyal friend who has helped me build three different programs. He's as good as they get."

In addition to the new extensions for Payne and Robic, UK also announced the addition of Barry Rohrssen to the staff last week, filling the vacancy left by Orlando Antigua when he took the head coaching job at South Florida.


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