JR Payne

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
JR Payne
Current position
TitleHead coach
Record57–52 (.523)
Biographical details
Born (1977-05-27) May 27, 1977 (age 42)
Jackson, Tennessee
Playing career
1995–1999Saint Mary's
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
2000–2005Gonzaga (asst.)
2005–2008Boise State (asst.)
2008–2009Santa Clara (asst.)
2009–2014Southern Utah
2014–2016Santa Clara
Head coaching record
Overall158–165 (.489)

Ali-Marie "JR" Payne (born May 27, 1977)[1] is an American college basketball coach who is currently head coach at Colorado.

Early life and education[edit]

Ali-Marie Payne was born in Jackson, Tennessee and raised in North Vancouver, British Columbia. Payne explained her nickname JR: "My Dad used to watch Dallas, and J. R. Ewing was a tough guy, so he started calling me J.R."[2] She attended Windsor Secondary School in North Vancouver.[3]

Payne attended Saint Mary's College, where she would play point guard for the Saint Mary's Gaels from 1995 to 1999. During her senior season, Payne helped lead the Gaels to their first ever NCAA Tournament appearance. She earned two first-team All-West Coast Conference honor. In 1999, Payne graduated from Saint Mary's with a degree in French, then attended San Francisco State University for a year for graduate school.[3][4]

Coaching career[edit]

In 2000, Payne began her women's basketball coaching career at Gonzaga under Kelly Graves. The team improved from five wins in 2000–01 to 28 wins in the 2004-05 season, including a perfect record in West Coast Conference play. Payne helped recruit guard Shannon Mathews, who would become the first All-American in program history.[5]

In 2005, Payne became an assistant coach at Boise State under Gordy Presnell. During her time as assistant, Boise State won Western Athletic Conference titles two of her three years and made the NCAA Tournament. Boise State finished 24-8 twice in a row, including a perfect 14-0 home record in the 2007-08 season.[5]

In 2009, JR Payne got her first head coaching position, at Southern Utah. In five seasons, Payne led Southern Utah to a record 23-win season, Big Sky Conference regular season co-championship, and first-ever postseason appearance in program history in the 2014 Women's National Invitation Tournament.[6]

On April 6, 2014, Payne became head coach at Santa Clara.[7] Payne was head coach at Santa Clara for two seasons. In the 2015–16 season, the Santa Clara Broncos made the WNIT returned to the postseason for the first time in ten years.[8] Following Santa Clara's exit from the WNIT, Payne was offered the Head Coach position at the University of Colorado-Boulder (Pac-12), The University of Arizona (Pac-12), and the University of New Mexico (Mountain West).[9]

On March 28, 2016, Payne became head coach at Colorado.[10] The eighth head coach in program history, Payne replaced Linda Lappe, who was fired after only managing only a career 33-57 (.367) record in Pac-12 play. JR Payne inherited a program that only finished 7-23 (2-16 Pac-12) in Lappe's final season.[11]

JR Payne's 2018-19 Colorado team began Pac-12 conference play 0-11, the worst start to conference play in program history.[12] Linda Lappe's 2015-16 Colorado team started 0-9 in Pac-12 conference play, resulting in Lappe's firing at the end of that season.[13] JR Payne's 2018-19 Buffs lost on the road to Oregon 102-43, the 59 point loss was the worst loss since 1984, 4th worst in program history.[12]

In her fourth season as head coach for the Colorado women's basketball team, JR Payne's Buffs teams have struggled to play at a competitive level within the conference with only a 12-42 (.222) Pac-12 record, losing almost four Pac-12 games for every conference game won. Colorado finished the 2018-19 season with a historically program low two conference wins, losing 16 Pac-12 conference games. It marked only the fifth time since the program began in 1975 that the Buffs failed to win at least three conference games. Prior to the start of the 2019-20 season JR Payne's Colorado team was voted to finish 12th in the Pac-12 Women's Basketball Coaches poll by fellow Pac-12 coaches.[14]

Personal life[edit]

She is married to assistant coach Toriano Towns and they have three children together: Aliyah, Jordan, and Jaxton.

Head coaching record[edit]

Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Southern Utah Thunderbirds (Summit League) (2009–2012)
2009–10 Southern Utah 7–23 5–13 8th
2010–11 Southern Utah 16–14 10–8 5th
2011–12 Southern Utah 6–23 2–16 10th
Southern Utah: 29–60 (.326) 17–37 (.315)
Southern Utah Thunderbirds (Big Sky Conference) (2012–2014)
2012–13 Southern Utah 15–16 9–11 7th
2013–14 Southern Utah 23–10 15–5 T–1st WNIT Second Round
Southern Utah: 38–26 (.594) 24–16 (.600)
Santa Clara Broncos (West Coast Conference) (2014–2016)
2014–15 Santa Clara 11–18 5–13 7th
2015–16 Santa Clara 23–9 13–5 T–3rd WNIT First Round
Santa Clara: 34–27 (.557) 18–18 (.500)
Colorado Buffaloes (Pac-12 Conference) (2016–2020)
2016–17 Colorado 17–16 5–13 T–9th WNIT Third Round
2017–18 Colorado 15–16 5–13 9th
2018–19 Colorado 12-18 2-16 12th
2019–20 Colorado 13-2 2-2
Colorado: 57–52 (.523) 14–44 (.241)
Total: 158–165 (.489)

      National champion         Postseason invitational champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion



  1. ^ "J.R. Payne". Gonzaga University. Archived from the original on March 29, 2005. Retrieved July 6, 2016.
  2. ^ "Payne Named Women's Basketball Coach". University of Colorado. March 28, 2016. Retrieved July 5, 2016.
  3. ^ a b "JR Payne Named Santa Clara University Women's Basketball Coach". WCC Sports. Retrieved April 6, 2014.
  4. ^ "J.R. Payne". Gonzaga University. Archived from the original on May 25, 2001.
  5. ^ a b "JR Payne Southern Utah coaching profile". Southern Utah University. Archived from the original on March 8, 2016. Retrieved July 4, 2018.
  6. ^ "JR Payne". University of Colorado. Retrieved July 5, 2016.
  7. ^ "JR Payne is new Santa Clara women's basketball coach". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved April 6, 2014.
  8. ^ "Season Ends for Women's Basketball After Loss in First Round of WNIT". Santa Clara University. 2016-03-18. Retrieved 2016-03-28.
  9. ^ "Sources: Payne hired as Colorado's next coach". Swish Appeal. Retrieved 2016-03-28.
  10. ^ Howell, Brian (2016-03-28). "CU women's basketball: Buffs to hire JR Payne as head coach". BuffZone.com. Retrieved 2016-07-06.
  11. ^ "Colorado names JR Payne to take helm of women's basketball program". www.denverpost.com. Retrieved 2016-03-28.
  12. ^ a b "CU Buffs women dominated by Oregon Ducks".
  13. ^ "Cathy Olson: Firing of Lappe another sad day for CU athletics".
  14. ^ "CU Buffs picked 12th by Pac-12 coaches in women's basketball".