Head coach Sean Payton informed the New Orleans Saints on Tuesday that he has officially decided to step away from coaching in 2022. He confirmed the news in a lengthy press conference, during which he reflected on the tremendous run that he had over the course of 15 seasons with the organization.
Payton came to the Saints in 2006, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina slamming the state of Louisiana and the New Orleans-area. He took over a flailing franchise in a battered city and turned the organization into an annual competitor, capable of challenging the best teams in the NFL, year in and year out.
For all that Payton did for the Saints and for the city of New Orleans, "thank you" doesn't seem to really cover it. However, the franchise did its best to sum up all that the 58-year-old head coach accomplished while in charge of the team with a touching note on Tuesday.
"You became our coach after the biggest natural disaster in U.S. history hit our state. You forever changed the culture of our organization, bringing us to unbelievable heights. Our gratitude for the impact you have made on our state, city, & team is immeasurable #ThankYouSean," the
You became our coach after the biggest natural disaster in U.S. history hit our state
You forever changed the culture of our organization, bringing us to unbelievable heights
Our gratitude for the impact you have made on our state, city, & team is immeasurable#ThankYouSean 🙏 pic.twitter.com/bQgRM2l9IF
— New Orleans Saints (@Saints) January 25, 2022
">Saints wrote on Twitter.
Payton will leave the Saints after amassing a sensational 152-89 overall record. New Orleans never posted a record worse than 7-9 and made the playoffs nine times during the head coach's 15 years at the helm.
The crowning achievement of Payton's tenure with the Saints came following the 2009 season, when he led the group to a victory in Super Bowl XLIV. To this day, that win marks the first and only time that New Orleans has played in the title game.
The Super Bowl season is just one a few memories of Payton that the Saints will cherish, but the organization will have to move on soon. Now the ninth team with a head coaching vacancy this offseason, New Orleans will have to be on the lookout for a new leader on the sidelines.