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Women's basketball: Southern Utah coach Payne takes job at Santa Clara

Published April 6, 2014 6:24 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Cedar City • Southern Utah women's basketball coach JR Payne accepted a job at Santa Clara on Sunday.

Payne guided SUU to a school-record 23 wins last season and a berth in the WNIT. She has been the Thunderbirds' head coach for the past five years.

"I feel so blessed for the time that I spent at Southern Utah and for the wonderful people there," Payne said in a statement. "As I move on to Santa Clara, I am so excited about the opportunity to be the Bronco's next coach."

Last season, Payne led the Thunderbirds to the school's first-ever Big Sky championship. SUU tied the regular-season title and defeated Colorado State, 71-56, in the first round of the WNIT.