Patrick Sean Payton (born December 29, 1963) is the current head coach of the New Orleans Saints of the National Football League. Payton was a quarterback at Naperville Central High School and Eastern Illinois University and played professionally in 1987 and 1988. He began his coaching career as offensive assistant for San Diego State University and had several assistant coaching positions in collegiate and NFL teams before being named as the 10th full-time coach in Saints history in 2006.
Under Payton, the New Orleans Saints made the 2006 NFL playoffs after a 3–13 season in 2005, and Payton won the AP NFL Coach of the Year Award because of this effort. Following the 2009 season, the New Orleans Saints won the Super Bowl championship.
On March 21, 2012, Payton was suspended for the entire 2012 NFL season, originally set to take effect April 1, 2012, as a result of his involvement in the New Orleans Saints bounty scandal, under which "bounties" were paid for interceptions, forced fumbles and contact that would "knock out" targeted players on opposing teams. Payton filed an appeal of his suspension with the league the Friday before it was set to take effect. On April 9, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell denied his appeal; his suspension will now take effect on April 16.