The college basketball world received sad news today with the announcement that retired Head Coach Eddie Payne had passed away at the age of 69. He was the Head Coach with the Belmont Abbey Crusaders, East Carolina Pirates, Oregon State Beavers, and USC Upstate Spartans. The cause of death is believed to be complications from a stroke. Payne will be mourned by the college basketball world for some time. He announced his retirement from basketball due to his declining health back in 2017.
We are heartbroken to share the news of the passing of former USC Upstate head basketball coach Eddie Payne early this morning.
Our tributes to Coach Payne will continue in coming days, for more information: https://t.co/kJTtI5JLGt pic.twitter.com/UNbltb2dhT
— USC Upstate Spartans (@UpstateSpartans) July 7, 2021
A quick overview of his career as Head Coach doesn’t do him justice, but there are only so many words one can type about a legend once they are gone from this world. While with the Belmont Abbey Crusaders he went 103-51. He then moved on to the East Carolina Pirates. While there he went 56-58 but he did help the program capture one of its two conference tournament titles and one of its two NCAA Tournament appearances. While with the Oregon State Beavers he went 52-88 and did not make the NCAA Tournament.
While with the USC Upstate Spartans he helped the program transition from division two to division one. He made the NCAA Division Two Tournament twice in five years before moving up to the next level. The Spartans made the CIT four times in ten years under Eddie Payne once they moved up to division one. In Divison two he went 93-54 and 134-187 in division one. His overall coaching record was 484-474.
We here at Def Pen Sports have Eddie Payne’s friends and family in our thoughts.