Naperville Central grad Sean Payton returning to NFL to coach Denver Broncos

Sean Payton holding Super Bowl trophy
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A year after stepping down as head coach of the New Orleans Saints, Naperville Central grad Sean Payton has reportedly reached an agreement to become the head coach of the Denver Broncos.

Payton heading back to the NFL

Payton spent the 2022 season as an analyst for Fox Sports before taking the reigns with the Broncos. Payton became the Saints head coach prior to the 2006 season, holding the position for 15 seasons. The pinnacle of his tenure came in the 2009 season, as the former Redhawk led New Orleans to a 13-3 record and a 31-17 victory over the Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl 44. He was suspended for the 2012 NFL season as a punishment for the bountygate scandal in New Orleans.

Broncos betting big on Payton

The Broncos fired their most recent head coach, Nathaniel Hackett after just 15 games and a record of 4-11. Denver had to pay a hefty price to land Payton’s services, which were still under contract by the Saints. The Broncos gave up their first round pick in the 2023 Draft and a second round pick in the 2024 Draft to the Saints in exchange to the rights to hire Payton.

Sean Payton heads to Denver with a career record of 152-89 as a head coach and a record of 9-8 in the playoffs, taking the Saints to the post season in nine of his 15 seasons.

Payton graduated from Naperville Central in 1982, playing football as the team’s starting quarterback before going on to star at Eastern Illinois University.