Head Men's & Women's Cross Country Coach and Assistant Track Coach/Instructor of Health & Fitness
2011 brought new changes for the Hanover College cross country and track & field programs. Since 1998, Josh Payne served as head coach for both programs but that fall he stepped into an assistant's role with the track & field program.
During his tenure in cross country, Payne has produced 40 all-Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference runners, nine all-region honorees and guided the women's team to three HCAC championships. In addition, his athletes have been named NCAA Division III academic all-Americans 30 times.
Payne is a four-time recipient of the Heartland Conference coach-of-the-year honor and has produced four NCAA qualifiers. 2005 saw Leah Peelman become the first All-American with a 7th place finish in the national championship meet.
In track & field, Payne has led 33 athletes to all-conference status, nine athletes to national-qualifying marks and two HCAC most valuable athletes. In 2005, Hanover produced its first NCAA all-American, when Peelman finished fourth in the 10,000-meters at the NCAA Championships during her junior year.
Hanover athletes have also set school records in 25+ events and notched three HCAC records. The 2011 ladies outdoor team won the HCAC Championship for the first time in school history, with Jane Burnell earning Freshman of the Year Honors.
Prior to coming to Hanover, Payne was an assistant at Anderson University, his alma mater. While at Anderson, Payne assisted in coaching multiple all-conference performers and national qualifiers in both cross country and track and field.
As a collegiate student, he was a two-time all-American and a four-time all-conference selection in cross country before graduating with a degree in biology.
In 1996, Payne earned his master's degree in physical education at Eastern Illinois University, where he assisted with the cross country and track & field programs.
Payne, the 1990 Ohio High School Division III state champion in the 1,600-meter and 800-meter runs, resides in Madison with his wife, Jennifer and daughters, Lydia, Mallory and Michaela.