Payne to Become Colorado Women’s Basketball Coach

Payne to Become Colorado Women’s Basketball Coach

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – After turning around the Santa Clara women's basketball program in just two years, JR Payne has accepted the head coaching position at the University of Colorado.

"I would like to thank the players and staff at Santa Clara University," said Payne "We accomplished so much in just a short two-year period. I feel very blessed for the time that I spent there and very blessed to have worked with such remarkable young women there."

Payne went 34-27 at Santa Clara, inclding 23-9 this year. The Broncos were 13-5 in the West Coast Conference and tied for third place.

Under Payne Santa Clara advanced to the postseason for the first time in 10 years in 2016. The Broncos fell to Fresno State in the opening round of the WNIT. The program's last postseason appearance occurred in 2005-06 when the Broncos also reached the WNIT.

Santa Clara's 23 victories are the most since 1997-98 when the Broncos won the same amount and captured both the WCC regular season and WCC tournament titles. They reached the first round of the NCAA tournament.

Santa Clara's 13th conference win came at Pacific on Feb. 27. It ties the most WCC wins in program history with the 1990-91 season when the Broncos won the conference.

Santa Clara beat Gonzaga on Jan. 28 for the first time since Feb. 2, 2006, snapping a 20-game losing streak in the series. They then beat the Zags 59-58 in the quarterfinals of the WCC Tournament on March 3. It was the first time Santa Clara beat Gonzaga twice in a season since 2002-03.

The Broncos snapped a 10-game losing streak to San Diego with their win on Feb. 11 to snap a 10-game losing streak to the Toreros. The last time the Broncos were able to beat San Diego was a 62-57 home win on Jan. 13, 2011. The last road win (67-63) was on Jan. 28, 2006.

The Broncos 12-game winning streak from Nov. 21 - Dec. 31 tied the longest in team history. They also won 12 in a row from Jan. 4 - Feb. 9, 1991 and went on to win the WNIT.

Santa Clara's 12-2 start to the season tied the 2001-02 as the best in program history. The 6-3 start to the WCC schedule is the best since 2007-08 when Broncos also won five of their first eight games.

Santa Clara's nine nonconference wins are the most in a season since winning 11 in 2007-08. That year the Broncos finished 20-11, the last season they won 20 or more games before 2015-16.

With its win over Texas Tech, Santa Clara recorded a pair of wins in the same season against Power Five Conference teams for the first time since 2000-01 and second in the last 19 years. The Broncos defeated Cal, 77-73, on Dec. 10, 2000 on the road, and 20 days later knocked off Texas Tech, 61-56, at home.

The Broncos win over Stanford (Nov. 23) was the first against the school since Dec. 4, 1998 and the first victory in Palo Alto since Nov. 21, 1984. It was also the first nonconference home loss against an unranked team for the Cardinal since March 19, 2007.

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