Louisville hires ex-star Milt Wagner, grandfather to top recruit D.J. Wagner

Milt Wagner, a former star guard at Louisville and the grandfather to top recruit D.J. Wagner, was announced Tuesday as the school’s new director of player development and alumni relations.Wagner won a national championship as a senior in 1986 and marks the fourth new Cardinals hire welcomed by new head coach Kenny Payne (hired in March), who was Wagner’s teammate as a freshman in that title-winning campaign.The intrigue around Wagner’s addition at his alma mater surrounds his grandson D.J., who is the nation’s No. 1 recruit in the Class of 2023 in the 247Sports composite rankings. The younger Wagner, a 6-foot-3 combo guard, plays at Camden (N.J.) High School — the same school as his grandfather.”It’s an honor for me to return to my alma mater and work alongside my brother Kenny Payne,” said Wagner in a statement. “Louisville is my second home and I’ve always wanted to return here to work with this historic program that I contributed my blood, sweat and tears for as a student-athlete. I’m thrilled to be here with a terrific staff and help this program achieve at the highest level.”The elder Wagner, 59, followed his four-year career as a Louisville player by playing parts of two NBA seasons in the late 1980s, winning an NBA title with the Los Angeles Lakers as a rookie in 1987-88. He later spent 14 years working at a trio of schools — first as a basketball operations coordinator at Memphis (2000-06), then as an assistant coach at UTEP (2006-10) and Auburn (2010-14).