Sean Payton life and biography

Sean Payton picture, image, poster

Sean Payton biography

Date of birth : 1963-12-29
Date of death : -
Birthplace : San Mateo, California
Nationality : American
Category : Sports
Last modified : 2010-10-18
Credited as : Football coach NFL, head coach for the New Orleans Saints, Super Bowl/NFL Draft player

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Sean Payton, entering his fifth season as a head coach in the National Football League, is the first coach in New Orleans Saints history to lead the team to a Super Bowl title. Payton, who has quickly molded New Orleans into one of the NFL's elite teams, guided the Saints to their first-ever championship on February 7, 2010 when they defeated the Indianapolis Colts, 31-17, in Super Bowl XLIV.

For Payton, the run has capped a four-year span where the Saints have won 42 games, claimed two division titles, appeared in a pair of NFC Championship games (2006 and 2009) and won Super Bowl XLIV. Payton and New England's Bill Belichick are the only two head coaches to guide their clubs to a conference championship game twice in the last four seasons. His 42 wins during the time are the most during any four-year span in Saints history and the second-most by an NFL coach during this period. With a career coaching record of 42-27 (.609 winning percentage), Payton owns the top winning percentage in club history. This is also the top winning percentage in the NFC South during this period. He's posted a 4-1 (.800) mark in the postseason after the team had won only one playoff game in franchise history prior to his arrival.

Serving as the club's play-caller, Payton's presided over the most prolific offense in the NFL, leading the league in yards per game three-of-his four seasons at the helm and finishing first in scoring in 2008 and 2009. These are the only three times, the Saints have led the NFL in total offense. In franchise history, the Saints have scored at least 45 points 10 times. Six of these outputs have occurred under Payton's watch.

In 2009 Payton guided the Saints to the team's second NFC South title in his four seasons with a 13-3 record. Along the way the Saints set a franchise-record for most regular season wins in a season (13), breaking the previous mark of 12 in 1992. Their 16 overall victories were the most for a club in the 44-year history of the franchise. The Saints also posted the longest winning streak in team history when they won their first 13 contests. Payton once gain was named as the top head coach in the NFL by numerous media outlets and recognized football chapters.

In 2009, the Saints finished as the National Football League's number one ranked offense (sixth in rushing and fourth in passing) for the second consecutive year and the third time in four seasons. On the other side of the ball, an opportunistic defense, recorded 26 interceptions with an NFL-leading five returned for touchdowns. New Orleans also ranked second in the league in opponent red zone touchdown percentage (39.3). The Saints set team records in scoring (510), and touchdowns (64) under Payton's watch and battled through the postseason with victories over the Arizona Cardinals (divisional round) and Minnesota Vikings (NFC Championship game) en route to Super Bowl XLIV. A franchise-record seven players were named to the Pro Bowl - QB Drew Brees, G Jahri Evans, C Jonathan Goodwin, S Roman Harper, S Darren Sharper, T Jon Stinchcomb and LB Jonathan Vilma.

In 2008, the Saints ranked No. 1 in the NFL in offense and set team records for total yards (6,571), net passing yards (4,977) and first downs (354), also tying a team record for single-game scoring in a 51-29 win over Green Bay.

In 2007, the Saints endured injuries and a slow start, but put together a four-game winning streak to get back into playoff contention. New Orleans finished No. 4 in the NFL in total offense while also holding nine opponents to 17 points or fewer.

Payton scrapped the traditional timetable for rebuilding an NFL club in 2006. In his opening season as a head coach, the Saints jumped out to a 3-0 record - a first in team history and equaling the team's win total from the previous year – and clinched the NFC South title before the regular season finale. New Orleans led the NFL in total offense, went to the postseason for the first time since 2000 and advanced to the NFC Championship for the first time. When 2006 came to a close, Payton was voted the Coach of the Year by the Associated Press, Pro Football Weekly/Pro Football Writers of America, The Sporting News and the Maxwell Club. He and his staff also coached the NFC squad in the Pro Bowl.

Payton was hired as the 14th head coach in Saints history on Jan. 18, 2006 after being a member of the Dallas Cowboys staff since 2003. In 2010 he enters his 14th season in the NFL and 22nd in coaching.

Prior to his final season with the Cowboys, Payton was promoted to assistant head coach/passing game coordinator and was responsible for the team's playcalling. For the previous two years, he had been assistant head coach/quarterbacks. In 2005, the Cowboys tied for second in the NFC with 318 first downs. When Payton arrived Dallas had ranked 31st in passing the previous year but immediately improved to 17th.

Payton came to Dallas after four years with the New York Giants (1999-2002), the last three as offensive coordinator after spending his first season as quarterbacks coach. Payton solidified his reputation as one of the game's brightest offensive minds in 2000. In his first season as coordinator, the Giants captured the NFC title and went to Super Bowl XXXV. New York scored 328 points – the club's highest total since 1990 - and finished 13th in the NFL in total offense.

Payton was first assigned play-calling duties prior to a game against the Jets on Dec. 5, 1999. The Giants responded with 41 points and 490 yards - both season highs - and he retained that assignment over the final five games. Appointed the offensive coordinator the following season, over the next three years the Giants passing attack continually improved, ranking 13th in the NFL in 2000, tied for eighth in 2001 and sixth in 2002.

In 2002 the Giants also finished sixth overall in total offense, the team's highest ranking since 1985. In the previous decade, New York hadn't ranked above 20th. Prior to joining the Giants, he spent 1997 and 1998 as Philadelphia's quarterbacks coach. In 1997, the Eagles ranked second in passing and third in total offense in the NFC.

During his career, Payton has had particular success tutoring quarterbacks. Brees has thrived since arriving in New Orleans, as he holds or has tied a total of 17 club career, single season and single game records. Brees enjoyed his finest season last year, when he finished first in with an NFL record 70.6 completion percentage and also led the league with a career-high 106.9 passer rating and 34 touchdown passes. In the postseason, the Super Bowl MVP threw for eight scores with no interceptions, playing mistake-free football on the way to the Championship. Under Payton's watch in 2008, Brees became the second passer in NFL history to throw for over 5,000 yards in a season. In 2007, Brees set a league record with 440 completions, and he owns club records for almost every single season category.

Since 2000, every passer under Payton's guidance has thrown for over 3,000 yards. In addition to Brees since 2006, the three starting quarterbacks he worked with in Dallas - Drew Bledsoe in 2005, Vinny Testaverde in 2004 and Quincy Carter in 2003 - all surpassed the milestone. And while in New York, Giants QB Kerry Collins had 4,073 yards in 2002.

Payton wrapped two coaching stints at San Diego State University (1988-89 and 1992-93) around a stop at Indiana State (1990-91). During his second stretch with the Aztecs, Payton was running backs coach, working with Heisman Trophy runner-up Marshall Faulk before becoming quarterbacks coach.

Following the 1993 season, Payton moved to Miami of Ohio (1994-95) where he was quarterbacks coach prior to being promoted to co-offensive coordinator. He spent 1996 as quarterbacks coach at Illinois before entering the NFL with Philadelphia.

Payton earned a bachelor's degree in communications at Eastern Illinois, where as a quarterback he had 10,665 passing yards, then the third-highest total in NCAA Division I-AA history. The three-time AP All-American selection had professional stints with Chicago of the Arena Football League, Ottawa of the Canadian Football League and the Chicago Bears in 1987. Payton was inducted into the Eastern Illinois Hall of Fame in September of 2000.

Born Dec. 29, 1963 in San Mateo, Calif., and raised in Naperville, Ill., Payton and his wife, Beth, have a daughter, Meghan and a son, Connor.

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