Eddie Payne, who was the head coach at East Carolina (1991-95), Oregon State (1995-2000) and USC Upstate (2002-17), among others, passed away on Wednesday following complications from a stroke. Payne was just a few days shy of turning 70.
“When you think of USC Upstate basketball two people instantly come to mind, Jerry Waters and Eddie Payne,” said current USC Upstate head coach Dave Dickerson. “I have known Coach Payne for 25 years or more – he was a great man, great coach and had impeccable integrity. His lost will be felt in all of the college basketball community, the City of Spartanburg and especially in The Hodge.”
Payne had 484 total victories during his career, which also included stints at Greensboro College (D-II), Belmont Abbey (NAIA) and Truett-McConnell (NAIA). When he took over at Upstate in 2002, it was a D-II program still known as USC Spartanburg. He had the Spartans in the D-I postseason by 2012 and ultimately appeared in four CITs between 2012-17.
He retired in 2017 and the following year, USC Upstate honored his legacy by renaming the basketball arena inside the G.B. Hodge Center the Eddie and Ann Payne Arena.
credit to USC Upstate Athletics for the image