Payne logs off, heads to D1

More news about: Puget Sound
Loree Payne led Puget Sound to its first outright NWC championship last season after a strong performance at the Classic.
Photo by Larry Radloff,

After leading Puget Sound to its first outright women's basketball title last season, Loree Payne is making the jump to Division I. She was announced as the new head coach at Northern Arizona University.

NAU announced the move on Friday, which will become official pending approval by the Arizona Board of Regents. 

"I am thrilled to have the opportunity to be the next women's basketball coach at Northern Arizona University," Payne said in a release. "Thank you to President Dr. Rita Cheng, Dr. Lisa Campos, Robyn Sharp, the Board of Regents and all of the members of the search committee for their efforts in this process. I also want to show my gratitude to all of those at the University of Puget Sound and my former players for an amazing experience that has prepared me to journey from a Logger to a Lumberjack."

Puget Sound just finished its most successful season in program history, as the Loggers went 26-3, including a perfect 16-0 mark in the NWC, before losing to Whitman in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Payne went 130-58 in seven seasons with the Loggers.

Before coming to Puget Sound, Payne played and coached at Division I Washington University. She was an assistant for three seasons at her alma mater from 2007 to 2010.

From D-III to D-I

Loree Payne is the second women's coach to make the jump from D3 to a head coaching job in D1 this offseason, following Nancy Fahey who is the new head coach at Illinois. She's also the second NWC coach on the list below, following Scott Rueck who has made a very successful transition to Oregon State.

Coach, D-III school D-I school Year Best year there Current job
Lisa Stone, UW-Eau Claire
Drake 2000-01 25-8, 2001-02 D-I St. Louis (26-8 in 15-16)
Candace Crabtree, Rowan Drexel 2000-01 19-10, 2000-01 Out of coaching
Tammy Smith, Muhlenberg Lafayette 2001-02 14-16, 2007-08 Out of coaching
Julie Goodenough, Hardin-Simmons Oklahoma State 2002-03 8-20, 2003-04 D-I Abilene Christian (26-4 in 15-16)
Mary Hegarty, Chapman Long Beach State 2003-04 19-9, 2004-05 Out of coaching
Kristin Hughes, Case Colgate 2004-05 12-18, 2004-05 Out of coaching
Stefanie Pemper, Bowdoin Navy 2008-09 24-8, 2013-14 Navy
Scott Rueck, George Fox Oregon State 2010-11 31-4, 2016-17 Oregon State
Aaron Roussell, Chicago Bucknell 2012-13 27-6, 2016-17 Bucknell
Greg Todd, Transylvania Morehead State 2013-14 21-10, 2016-17 Morehead State
Nancy Fahey, Washington U. Illinois 2016-17    
Loree Payne, Puget Sound Northern Arizona 2016-17