Louisville adds Cardinals scoring great Milt Wagner to staff

May 24, 2022 GMT

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Louisville has added Milt Wagner as its men’s basketball director of player development and alumni relations, reuniting the Cardinals scoring great with former teammate and first-year head coach Kenny Payne.

Wagner, whose 1,834 career points rank sixth all-time in program history, was a starter on on Louisville’s 1986 NCAA championship squad while Payne was a freshman. He helped the Cardinals reach three Final Fours from 1981-86 and his No. 20 jersey hangs in the rafters of the team’s KFC Yum! Center arena. The Cardinals Hall of Famer won an NBA championship in 1988 with the Los Angeles Lakers during a 13-year professional career before going on to work as an assistant at Auburn and UTEP and coordinator of basketball operations at Memphis under John Calipari.

Wagner, nicknamed “Ice,” said in a release Tuesday that he was honored to return to his alma mater and “work alongside my brother Kenny Payne.” Wagner added, “Louisville is my second home and I’ve always wanted to return here.”

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Wagner played in 144 career games — tied for the second most in program history — and started his final 111 contests. He averaged 14.8 points and a team-high 4.2 assists on the Cardinals’ title team and helped them win three Metro Conference regular season championships and two tournament titles.

The Camden, New Jersey, native has recently worked in private business in Louisville. Wagner takes over for Reece Gaines, who has moved to the team’s video operations.

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