Former Riders coach John Payne passes away

REGINA — The Saskatchewan Roughriders and the CFL are mourning the passing of the team’s former head coach, John Payne.

Payne coached the Riders from 1973 to 1976, leading the team to a home playoff game as well as the Western Final in every year.

His coaching career spanned three decades and included CFL stops in Edmonton, Winnipeg, Hamilton, Toronto, BC, Sacramento and Ottawa.

After a playing career at Oklahoma State as an offensive lineman, Payne joined Brigham Young University as an offensive line coach. Two years later he came to the CFL, joining the Edmonton Eskimos.

Following a short one-year stay with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Payne was hired by the Riders in 1971 as an assistant head coach. He was promoted to head coach in 1973, where he coached the team to a 40-23-1 record and led Saskatchewan to the 1976 Grey Cup, losing to the Ottawa Rough Riders.