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Parker Payne, Caleb Smith join Northern Kentucky University women’s basketball coaching staff

Northern Kentucky University women’s basketball head coach Camryn Whitaker announces Parker Payne as assistant coach and Caleb Smith as the director of basketball operations. Both Payne and Smith have extensive experience with the program.

Payne is entering his fourth season with the Norse, which includes two as the director of basketball operations before spending last season as an assistant coach on an interim basis. NKU is 39-41 overall and 29-19 in Horizon League play since Payne joined the staff. In the 2020 Horizon League Tournament, Northern Kentucky won back-to-back games to reach the semifinals where it dropped a last-second decision. On the bench last season, he was instrumental in developing scouting reports, assisting with in-game adjustments and recruiting.

Caleb Smith (right) and Parker Payne (Photo from NKU Athletics)

“Parker has proven himself to be a loyal, hardworking, and committed member of our team and NKU over the last three years,” said Whitaker. “He has built great relationships with our players and staff and has impacted us in a positive way on the court. I’m thrilled Parker is going to continue as an assistant coach in our program and can’t wait to get back to work this summer.”

“The past three years have been extremely rewarding here at NKU,” Payne said. “It has been great to see the program reach new heights, and I am ready to get to work this summer as we continue to raise the bar. A big thank you to Coach Whitaker for trusting in me, and I look forward to the challenges ahead as we try to bring home our first Horizon League championship this upcoming year. Norse Up!”

Smith joins the staff after spending the last four seasons as a practice player (2017-19) and team manager (2019-21). As team manager, he assisted with film arrangement, upkeep of statistical data and aiding the coaching staff as necessary. Smith also spent the past two seasons as an athletic event and game operations manager for Norse Athletics.

“We are excited to have Caleb remain a part of our team as the director of basketball operations,” said Whitaker. “He loves NKU and has worked hard to maintain schoolwork and his responsibilities with our team. I look forward to watching Caleb grow in our profession and know he will support and mentor our young women and continue his passion of being involved in basketball.”

“I am beyond excited to be the director of basketball operations here at NKU,” Smith said. “To be a part of such a great program is definitely an honor. I am truly grateful for this opportunity and can’t wait to see what the future holds.”

From NKU Athletics

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