Saints coach Sean Payton stepping down

Published 1:48 pm Tuesday, January 25, 2022

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton, whose 15-year tenure with the club included its only Super Bowl championship and also a one-season suspension stemming from the NFL’s bounty investigation, intends to retire from coaching.

A person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press on Tuesday that the 58-year-old Payton was stepping down. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the move was not going to be announced until a media availability later in the day. The Saints announced a press conference for 3 p.m. that will be streamed live on the team’s web site.

Payton leaves his first and only NFL head coaching job with a 152-89 regular-season record — and nine playoff appearances — in 15 seasons. The Saints won the NFL title in 2009.

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The Saints made Payton a first-time head coach in 2006, when he oversaw a stunning turnaround in the franchise’s first season back in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. The club had been displaced from the city during the entire 2005 season, going 3-13.

The Saints went 10-6 and advanced to the NFC championship game in Payton’s first season. He has coached the Saints to the postseason eight other times in his 15 seasons since.

New Orleans narrowly missed the playoffs this season, going 9-8 in their first campaign since the retirement of Drew Brees. Payton had lured the quarterback to New Orleans as a free agent in 2006 and Brees went on to set every significant franchise passing record.