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Sean Payton steps down as Saints head coach during emotional press conference

After 16 years with the organization, Sean Payton is walking away as Saints head coach.
After 16 years with the organization, Sean Payton is walking away as Saints head coach.
Published: Jan. 25, 2022 at 10:49 PM CST
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NEW ORLEANS, La. (WALA) - It’s the end of an era in New Orleans. Sean Payton officially stepped down as the head coach of the Saints Tuesday during an emotional news conference.

Payton took over as head coach in 2006.

It’s an era that included a coach of the year award, nine playoff appearances, seven NFC south titles and a Superbowl victory.

“The question was how do I want to be remembered? Someone who had passion. Someone that cared a lot,” Payton said.

When asked why Payton just said it was time.

“I felt the time was right and it was something that I had been thinking about. Forget football, there’s other things. Spending more time. There’s a lot sacrifices you make. Not many get to choose, and I looked at it as an opportunity also to see my kids more,” Payton said.

Former players and the city of New Orleans responded on social media with the hashtag #ThankYouSean.

But it was Payton who thanked ownership, players and the fans as he reflected on his career.

“Thank you for giving me this opportunity to be your head coach for 16 years. I appreciate each and every one of them,” Payton said.