Coach John Payton Scholarship

Who is John Payton?

John Payton

Coach Payton’s storied career has seen his induction into halls of fames for Prairie View A&M Athletics, Prairie View A&M Interscholastic League, Lamar University, Southeast Texas Coaches Association Hall of Honor, and he has received the State of Texas Distinguished Service Award for basketball officials.  In 2005, Coach Payton was inducted into the Texas Black Sport Hall of Fame.  Coach Payton’s career at Lamar University spanned thirty-eight years.  He came to Lamar University in 1970 as an assistant football and track coach after an impressive 14 year career as a high school coach of football, basketball and track.

He was the first African-American coach in any sport at Lamar. For many Southeast Texas students, Coach Payton was their first teacher of another race and his impact on race relations has been enormous. As a football coach and teacher of physical education, Coach Payton impacted the lives of hundreds, indeed, thousands of students. He is the model of professionalism that can be witnessed in generations of his students.  His knowledge, skill and preparation combined with an attitude of love and consideration for all people has made Coach Payton an icon for the Health and Kinesiology Department.