Jason Payne, the former head coach at Mercer University, is entering his fourth season as the assistant coach for the Georgia men's golf team.
In 2009-10, Payne helped the Bulldogs win three tournaments, including the 28th SEC title in school history. With Payne's assistance, the Bulldogs boasted the National and SEC Player of the Year in Russell Henley, another First-Team All-American in Harris English, and the SEC Freshman of the Year in Bryden Macpherson.
Before arriving in Athens, Payne spent four seasons as Mercer's head coach. Payne helped the Bears to a program-best, fourth-place finish at the 2005 Atlantic Sun Championship. He also coached five Cleveland Golf All-America Scholars, 25 Atlantic Sun All-Academic Team honorees and one Atlantic Sun All-Freshman Team selection. Under Payne's guidance, Mercer won the 2005 Wofford Invitational while three Bears claimed individual titles.
Payne put Mercer on the map nationally by hosting the Linger Longer Invitational, which now is recognized as one of the country's top events. Mercer also hosted the inaugural Brickyard Collegiate Golf Championship, and it also is one of the nation's top events now.
Payne spent two seasons as an assistant coach at Georgia Southern before arriving at Mercer. While in Statesboro, Payne helped guide the Eagles to two Southern Conference titles and back-to-back trips to the NCAA Regionals in 2002 and 2003. He also coached one All-American, one Scholar All-American, one Southern Conference Player of the Year, two consecutive Southern Conference Freshman of the Year picks, five All-Southern Conference selections and one Southern Conference Student-Athlete of the Year.
Payne earned a bachelor's degree in Consumer Economics from Georgia in 2001 and a master's degree in Sport Management from Georgia Southern in 2003.
Payne is married to the former Angela Fortenberry and they have a son, Jackson.