Another former NBA star is getting into college coaching as Hall of Fame player Gary Payton has agreed to a multi-year contract to be the coach of Lincoln University in Oakland, California, according to The Undefeated. Payton, 52, is an Oakland native and a nine-time All-Star who was part of the Miami Heat’s 2006 NBA Championship squad.
Lincoln University’s athletic program is just getting started, meaning Payton will be the program’s first basketball coach. He told Spears that he wants to schedule Division I opponents with aspirations of growing Lincoln into a Division I program.
Payton, who played at Oregon State, joins a list of former NBA stars such as Juwan Howard (Michigan), Penny Hardaway (Memphis), Patrick Ewing (Georgetown) and Jerry Stackhouse (Vanderbilt) in the college coaching ranks. But his job will be distinctly different than those of his peers who have taken on jobs at major Division I colleges.
“It’s a startup program and a private independent school where I can establish what I want to establish,” Payton told The Undefeated‘s Marc Spears. “I don’t have to go behind anybody to try to make a program become something or keep it going. I can start it off with my own program with what I want to happen.”
Since his playing career ended after the 2006-07 season, Payton has, among other things, spent time as a television analyst. He told Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports in October that “I believe I now am ready to coach” and suggested he would like to join an NBA staff.
Instead the former defensive stalwart nicknamed “The Glove” will start the coaching chapter of his career as the leader of his own college program in his hometown.