LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — First-year Louisville head coach Kenny Payne has hired former Kansas great and college basketball Hall of Famer Danny Manning as an assistant, a month after the coaching veteran completed an interim stint at Maryland.
Manning, who will turn 56 in May, guided the Terrapins to a 15-17 finish after taking over for Mark Turgeon in December. He was 78-111 as Wake Forest’s head coach from 2014-2020 and 38-29 at Tulsa from 2012-14 after working as a Kansas assistant the previous six seasons.
Payne said in a release that Manning “encompasses all the experiences that a college basketball player goes through.’’ The first-time head coach called Manning a family member and added he's “thrilled” to bring aboard a former player and coach to help establish the culture.
“I didn’t want to miss out on getting in on the ground level with Kenny as he builds this program,” Manning said during a news conference. “Part of my job is to throw ideas at him and continue to throw ideas at him to help him navigate.”
Manning’s highly decorated basketball career includes leading Kansas to the 1988 NCAA championship as a two-time All-American before becoming the No. 1 overall selection in that year’s NBA Draft.
He is KU's all-time leading scorer and rebounder and, despite injuries impacting his professional career, went on to score 12,367 points in 15 NBA seasons with seven teams while earning All-Star honors in 1993 and 1994 along with the Sixth Man of the Year award in 1998. Manning also played on the 1988 U.S. Olympic squad.
Manning’s hiring is the second this week by Payne, who on Monday added former Duke assistant Nolan Smith to his staff.
Manning was in New Orleans for the 2021-22 Kansas basketball program's run to the national championship, sitting with several other KU greats behind the Jayhawks' bench during their 72-69 victory over North Carolina in the title game on April 4.