USC Upstate head men's basketball coach steps down - FOX Carolina 21

USC Upstate head men's basketball coach steps down

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Eddie Payne. (Source: upstatespartans.com) Eddie Payne. (Source: upstatespartans.com)
SPARTANBURG, SC (FOX Carolina) -

The University of South Carolina Upstate head men’s basketball coach Eddie Payne announced he would step down as head coach effective immediately.

The decision did not come easily for Payne, the release said. Payne has led the Spartans for 15 seasons.

Over the summer Payne had two ankle replacements and the healing process has been a long an tedious one. The real test for Payne came Saturday during the Spartan's first basketball practice.

“I was on my feet for four hours and the adrenaline was pumping, but I started having a lot of pain that night,” Payne said. “The pain got worse through the weekend.”

Payne said he started to think about what coaching another year would do to his long-term mobility.

“It was a hard decision,” Payne said. “I’ve been doing this 43 years, I still have two years left on my contract and I’m close to 500 wins. It’s hard to just stop.”

Payne met with his team on Tuesday to discuss his decision. University officials are also discussing a role that would keep Payne associated with Spartans Athletics and the University.

Assistant Coach Kyle Perry will serve as the interim head coach.

More news: Police: SUV driver charged after moped driver killed in accident in Spartanburg Co.

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