A Super Bowl-winning head coach with 34 years of overall experience, Payton spent 15 seasons as head coach of the New Orleans Saints between 2006-21 as part of a 24-year NFL coaching career.
During 15 seasons as the Saints' head coach, Payton led New Orleans to nine playoff berths, seven NFC South Division titles and a victory in Super Bowl XLIV (2009). Payton's 161 overall wins (161-97, .624) are tied for 22nd in NFL history (6th among active coaches) and include nine playoff victories with three NFC Championship Game appearances.
In the regular season, Payton has a .631 winning percentage (152-89) that ranks 16th in NFL history (min. 100 games) and is 63 games over .500 for his career to rank 13th in league annals. The Saints won 10 or more games in nine seasons under Payton, finishing as the NFC's No. 1 seed on two occasions (2009, '18).
Payton directed one of the most productive offenses in NFL history during his time in New Orleans. The Saints posted Top-9 NFL rankings in yards per game in 13-of-15 seasons, including leading the league in yards six times (2006, '08-09, '11, '14, '16). New Orleans finished ranked in the Top-5 in the league in points per game nine times under Payton, including leading the NFL in scoring during back-to-back seasons from 2008-09.
In total, his offenses with the Saints from 2006-21 ranked first in the NFL in yards per game (392.4) and second in points per game (27.6).
Individually, Payton coached 12 different players to a combined 15 Associated Press first-team All-Pro selections and 26 players to a total of 68 Pro Bowls. This includes quarterback Drew Brees (11 Pro Bowl selections), defensive end Cameron Jordan (7), guard Jahri Evans (5) and running back Alvin Kamara (5).
Playing 15 seasons in Payton's offense, Brees became one of the most prolific quarterbacks in NFL history and formed one of the top head coach-quarterback duos of all-time. Brees led the NFL in passing yards (68,010), passing touchdowns (491), completions (6,017) and completion percentage (68.8%) while posting the fifth-highest passer rating (101.5).
In addition to winning Super Bowl XLIV with a 31-17 victory over the Colts following the 2009 season, Payton's tenure in New Orleans was highlighted by the NFL's best record from 2017-20 with a 49-15 (.766) mark. New Orleans captured four consecutive division titles during this time, becoming the only NFC South team—and third NFC franchise ever—to accomplish this feat under the current format (2002-Pres.).
Hired by the Saints as head coach on Jan. 18, 2006, Payton began his transformation of the franchise into perennial contenders that year by winning Associated Press Coach of the Year honors after guiding New Orleans to 10-6 record.
Before joining the Saints in 2006, Payton spent three seasons (2003-05) as assistant head coach and quarterbacks coach with the Dallas Cowboys under Pro Football Hall of Fame Head Coach Bill Parcells. With the Cowboys, Payton is credited for helping to scout and develop undrafted quarterback Tony Romo—a four-time Pro Bowler—during his first three NFL seasons.
Payton joined Dallas after spending four seasons with the New York Giants, coaching quarterbacks in 1999 before serving as offensive coordinator from (2000-02). In his first season directing the Giants' offense, New York posted a 12-4 regular-season record and won the NFC East title on its way to advancing to Super Bowl XXXV.
Payton began his NFL coaching career with Philadelphia, where he served as quarterbacks coach for two seasons from 1997-98.
Prior to his NFL career, Payton coached nine seasons at the collegiate level (1988-1996) with four different schools. He began his coaching career as an offensive assistant at San Diego State University from 1988-89 before coaching running backs and wide receivers at Indiana State University from 1990-91.
Payton returned to San Diego State as running backs coach from 1992-93 and went on to become offensive coordinator for Miami (Ohio) University from 1994-95. He spent the following season as quarterbacks coach at the University of Illinois.
A three-time All-American quarterback at Eastern Illinois University from 1982-86, Payton totaled 10,665 career passing yards to finish his career ranked third in NCAA Division-I history. He was inducted into the Eastern Illinois Hall of Fame in 2000 and had his jersey retired during a ceremony in 2010.
After graduating from Eastern Illinois, Payton played parts of two seasons in various professional football leagues from 1987-88 before launching his coaching career.
Born on Dec. 29, 1963, in San Mateo, Calif., Payton is married to his wife, Skylene. He has one daughter, Meghan, and one son, Connor.