Payan promoted to Head Basketball Coach at Coe College

With Coe College head coach Bryan Martin headed to USC Upstate as an assistant (DAILY DIRT – 4/25), the Kohawks have announced the promotion of assistant John Payan to replace Martin. Here is the official statement from Coe:

Coe College Director of Athletics and Recreation Steve Cook announced earlier this week to the Coe community that Kohawk Men’s Basketball head coach Bryan Martin will resign from his position to pursue a new opportunity at a Division I institution. In addition, Cook announced the promotion of assistant coach, John Payanwho has been selected to take over as the new leader of the Kohawk program. Martin, who led the Coe Men’s Basketball team for 12 seasons from 2012-2024, departs as the program’s all-time leader in wins with 166 victories. Additionally, Martin led the Kohawks to back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances and the program’s first-ever conference tournament title. 
“Coach Martin has led our basketball program with so much success on and off the court,” said Cook. “He ran an exemplary program that set a high standard within our department. His efforts were always student-athlete-centered and of championship caliber. I want to thank Bryan for his years of service to Coe and his dedication to his student-athletes. I wish him the best in his next coaching venture.”
Martin’s teams excelled in the classroom and on the court, with 25 players earning all-conference honors. Academic excellence was a staple of the Kohawk program during Martin’s tenure. The Kohawks have been awarded the NABC Team Excellence award for outstanding academics in each of the last 11 years. In 2014-15, Coe had 12 players named to the NABC Honors Court team which recognizes individual excellence in academics. No other team in the nation had more players receive that honor that year at any level in college basketball.   
“We are excited about the promotion of John as he prepares to take over the program,” Cook said. “John has been an instrumental part of the basketball program since joining the staff in the summer of 2022, making an impact on our student-athletes and our athletic community. He quickly displayed a shared commitment with Coach Martin to success on and off the court and we are excited for his new role as our Head Coach. Coach Payan will be a great person to take over our men’s basketball program as it continues to establish itself at a national level.”
Payan, a 2018 graduate of Saint Ambrose, joined the Kohawk staff after a two-year stint at the University of Dubuque as a graduate assistant. In his time with the Spartans, Payan served as the head coach for the Junior Varsity squad and helped lead the varsity program to a 35-6 record including a 28-2 mark in the American Rivers Conference. Payan helped the Spartans defense rank 35th in DIII and 47th in winning percentage in his final year on staff. In Payan’s two years with the Kohawks, he has helped lead the program to new heights, reaching the NCAA Division III Tournament in back-to-back seasons as well as the Kohawks’ first-ever conference tournament championship in 2022. 

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