Santa Clara hires former Southern Utah coach J.R. Payne as coach

Published: Sunday, April 6 2014 5:55 p.m. MDT

Southern Utah head coach JR Payne directs her team against Colorado in the first half of an NCAA womens basketball game in Boulder, Colo., on Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

David Zalubowski, AP

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SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — JR Payne has been hired as women's basketball coach at Santa Clara.

Payne, a former Santa Clara assistant who played at West Coast Conference rival Saint Mary's College, spent the past five seasons coaching Southern Utah — and her team won a school-record 23 games while reaching the postseason for the first time.

Payne replaces Jennifer Mountain, whose contract wasn't renewed after six seasons. The Broncos went 10-20 this season, including 6-12 in the West Coast Conference. Mountain finished with a 56-127 record.

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