After 15 seasons, Eddie Payne has decided to step down as the head basketball coach at USC-Upstate.
Payne cites a slow recovery from the second of two ankle replacement surgeries as the reason for this decision. The coach knew it was time to step down after the Spartans' first practice.
“I was on my feet for four hours and the adrenaline was pumping, but I started having a lot of pain that night,” Payne said.
“The pain got worse through the weekend.”
Payne says after thinking about his long-term mobility and the desire to be a grandfather one day proved to be the deciding factors.
“It was a hard decision,” Payne said.
“I’ve been doing this 43 years, I still have two years left on my contract and I’m close to 500 wins. It’s hard to just stop.”
A former USC assistant coach under George Fellton, Payne is the only current NCAA Division I coach to have coached at all five levels of college basketball, Payne has compiled a 484-474 career record, including a 227-241 mark at USC Upstate.