JACKSON, Miss. – Eddie Payton, Jackson State University’s head golf coach, has retired from the position after leading the Tigers and Lady Tigers programs for 30 years.
During his tenure the trailblazing men’s golf team won 25 conference championships and eight National Minority titles. In 1995 the Tigers made history by becoming the first HBCU to compete in the NCAA Men’s National Golf Championships.
“Following my professional football career, it was an honor and privilege to return to my alma mater as head golf coach,” said Payton. “It was an opportunity for me to give back to the University that had given me so much.”
Payton helped start the women’s golf program in 1994 and the Lady Tigers went on to win 16 SWAC titles. The Lady Tigers program also holds a special place in history by becoming the first women’s team from an HBCU to compete in the NCAA National Golf Championship in 1999.
“My goal when I returned to coach golf at JSU, was to win a National Title. Unfortunately we came up short. But it was not from a lack of trying.”
90 percent of Payton’s golfers graduated and program has received the NCAA’s Public Recognition Award three times (men’s golf in 2013-14 and women’s golf in 2009-10 and 2010-11).
Tim O’Neal, AJ Montecinos, Shasta Averyhardt and Clay Myers are some of the standouts who went on to have professional golf careers during Payton’s tenure.
Payton’s retirement begins July 1. Jackson State will hold an official retirement party for Payton at a later date.
Courtesy: JSU Athletics