Chris Payne was hired as the Assumption men's soccer head coach in July of 2018 and brings with him over 20 years of college and club coaching experience.
In his first season with the Hounds, Payne went 8-7-2 with a 6-5-2 record within the Northeast-10 Conference. It was the Hounds' first winning season in 10 years, dating back to 2009, while his team also earned the seventh-seed in the Northeast-10 playoffs. During the season, the Hounds took down nationally-ranked Le Moyne 3-1 on September 25 for the first time since 2008. Payne had five players earn Northeast-10 All-Conference Honors with two players receiving Second-Team Honors. He also had one player earn NCAA Division II All-East Region Third-team Honors.
Payne has spent the past 12 years coaching at the club level and most recently has worked as the Director of Coaching with the Boston Bolts. Prior to his work as a club coach, he served as the head men’s soccer coach at the University of New Haven from 2001-2004. As a player, Payne won a pair of NCAA Division II National Championships at Southern Connecticut State University in 1990 and 1992, before moving into an assistant coach role where he helped the Owls win three more NCAA Division II Titles before departing for New Haven.
Since 2012, Payne has served as the Director of Coaching with the Boston Bolts. Among his numerous duties, he was a head coach and assistant coach of the Bolts’ USSF Academic Teams, as well as working with U10-U19 age groups. He also organized and planned game schedules and training schedules for the club’s more than 60 teams. Payne served as the technical director for Western United FC in Springfield, Mass. from 2010-12. He moved back to New England after working for six years as a technical director at a pair of club programs in Texas, spending 2005-08 with the West Texas United Soccer Club and 2008-10 with the Dallas Texans.
Payne was a four-year standout with Southern Connecticut State, playing from 1990-93 with the Owls and finishing his career with 23 goals. As a freshman, his team went 22-0-1 on the way to the NCAA Division II Championship. Two years later the Owls won a second national championship, and as a senior the Owls fell in the national title game.
Following his player career, Payne moved to the sidelines from 1995-2000. Over his six seasons as an assistant, Southern Connecticut State won three more NCAA Division II Championships, including a perfect 20-0-0 season in 1999, and reached the national semifinals on two other occasions. After the 2000 season, Payne took the head coach position at the University of New Haven. He coached the Chargers from 2001-04 and over his final two seasons, the team 9-9 in conference play and 15-21 overall.
Payne holds both a United States Soccer Federation “B” License and “C” License, as well as a National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Director of Coaching Diploma. He also is a member of the NSCAA, United States Soccer Coaches Association and F.A. Coaches Association.
Payne currently is married with three children and resides in Southborough, Massachusetts.