Men’s basketball coach resigns

The Tech men’s basketball coach resigned March 3 following 17 seasons with the program, with the last eight as the head coach.

Director of Athletics Mark Wilson announced Steve Payne's resignation March 3. A national search will begin immediately to identify Tech's 13th head coach in program history. Associate head coach Jason Taylor will stay on as acting head coach throughout the search.

The Golden Eagles ended this season with a record of 8-23 and a record of 4-14 in the OVC making them ineligible to compete in the conference tournament.

"We want to extend our sincerest thank you to Steve Payne for his numerous years of dedication and service to Tennessee Tech men's basketball," Wilson said. "Steve has done a tremendous job of recruiting the right student-athletes that embody the culture that we wish to continue to build here at Tennessee Tech. We wish him the very best in his future pursuits.”

In eight seasons as the Golden Eagle head coach, Payne led Tech to a 118-134 record, making the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament five times. His 118 career victories tie him for fourth in program history with John Oldham, who coached nine seasons from 1955-64.

"There are a lot of things I can say," Payne expressed. "I've been here 17 years and I love the University and the entire town. My kids have grown up in the Cookeville community and I am very appreciative of my time at Tech.”

Taylor just completed his fourth year as an assistant coach at Tennessee Tech, and his second as associate head coach.

Taylor brought his own share of experience and success after spending 12 seasons at Anderson University in a variety of roles. In nine seasons as the head coach, Taylor became Anderson’s all-time winningest men’s basketball coach, accumulating a 157-113 record.