Sean Payton stepping down as Saints head coach

Sean Payton Saints
Posted at 2:30 PM, Jan 25, 2022

Sean Payton, the longtime coach of the New Orleans Saints who led the team to its most sustained period of success in franchise history, has informed the team that he will be stepping away from coaching, The Associated Press reports.

Payton joined the team in 2006, just months after Hurricane Katrina decimated the city of New Orleans and the Saints' home stadium, the Superdome. The situation was so dire that there were rumors of a potential franchise move to San Antonio.

But in a short time, Payton built a high-powered offense around the pinpoint accuracy of quarterback Drew Brees. Payton and Brees led the team to the NFC title game in his first season and a Super Bowl championship in 2010.

But his time with the Saints was not without controversy. Payton was suspended for the entirety of the 2012 season as part of the "Bountygate" scandal, where members of his coaching staff allegedly paid players to injure prominent players on other teams.

In 15 seasons with the Saints, Payton won a franchise-best 152 games and won 63% of the games he coached in. He led the team to nine playoff appearances, seven NFC South Championships and the 2010 Super Bowl title.

He was named The Associated Press Coach of the Year after his first season with the team in 2006.