Assistant Coach
Height: 6'2"
Hometown: Russell Springs, Ky.
High School: Russell County HS
Experience: 1st Year


The Steve Payne File

Alma Mater: Union College (Ky.), 1990
Hometown: Russell Springs, Ky.
Children: Parker, Paxton, Abigail

Wife: Kelli

Position: Assistant Coach

Fun fact: 1,000-point scorer at Union College (Ky.)

Coaching Career

Kansas City: 2019-present (assistant)

Tennessee Tech: 2011-19 (head coach - 8 seasons; 118-134 overall record)

Tennessee Tech: 2002-11 (associate head coach/assistant - 9 seasons)

Frank Phillips Junior College: 2000-02 (head coach - 2 seasons; 29-31 overall record)

Georgetown College: 1996-2000 (associate head coach - 4 seasons)

Northwestern State University: 1994-96 (assistant coach - 2 seasons)

Union University: 1991-94 (assistant coach - 3 season)

Steve Payne was hired to join Billy Donlon's staff in June, 2019. He will be in his first year as an assistant coach of the Kansas City men's basketball program.

Payne will focus on coaching post players, scheduling, junior college recruiting and organizing team camp. He arrives at Kansas City having been the head coach at Tennessee Tech for the past eight seasons (2011-19). Overall, he was at Tech since 2002, serving as assistant and associate head coach from 2002-11. At Tech, he compiled a 118-134 (.468) head coaching record, including three seasons of 19 victories and two postseason appearances.

In his first season in 2011-12, Payne led the Golden Eagles to a 19-14 record and the program’s sixth ever postseason trip, playing in the Tournament. In 2015-16, Payne collected his second 19-win season while leading the Golden Eagles to their seventh postseason appearance in program history and second under his watch, accepting a bid to the inaugural Vegas 16 Tournament.

In his final year as a Tech assistant, Payne was named the 2011 Top Assistant Coach in the Ohio Valley Conference by Overall as an assistant, Payne helped Tech post 149 wins and two of the program’s five 20-win seasons, hitting that mark in 2002-03 and 2010-11. Payne was also recognized in July 2009 as one of the Top 25 Mid-Major assistant basketball coaches in the nation, according to

Prior to his arrival at Tech, Payne was the acting head coach at Frank Phillips Junior College in Borger, Texas, for two years from 2000-02. He arrived at Frank Phillips from Georgetown College (Ky.), where he was an associate head coach for four years (1996-2000) under head coach Happy Osborne. During that time, the Tigers compiled a 128-22 record and three Mid-South Conference championships in four years. The Tigers won the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) national championship in 1997-98. Georgetown also finished second in the national tournament in 1999-00 and advanced to the national quarterfinals in 1998-99.

Payne also served as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Northwestern (La.) State University where he helped lead NSU to its best conference finish in a decade. He was also an assistant coach at Union University in Jackson, Tenn., where he was recruiting coordinator and helped lead the team to back-to-back 20-win seasons. Payne was director of player development at Union, and that included the coaching of two NAIA all-Americans. He also coached at Knox Central High School in Barbourville, Ky.

He is a graduate of Russell County High School in Russell Springs, Ky., and earned his bachelor’s degree from Union College in Barbourville, Ky., in 1990. Payne was a three-year starter and captain for the Bulldogs as a college star and eclipsed 1,000 points at Union.

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