Former Terrapin standout Russell Payne is in his fifth season as an assistant coach in College Park. Payne, who was Sasho Cirovski's first blue-chip recruit and was a four-year starter in goal for the Terrapins, is back coaching at his alma mater after spending several seasons playing and coaching in Europe.
In his four seasons on the sideline with the Terps, Payne has helped lead Maryland to a 51-15-4 record, the ACC regular season title in 2005 and its first NCAA title since 1968. During his four years in College Park, Payne has coached the Terps to an NCAA appearance each season while mentoring 12 All-ACC selections and six MLS SuperDraft picks, including No. 1 overall selections Leo Cullen and Maurice Edu.
Payne, a coach with the Maryland ODP 1993 team, served as an assistant coach with the U-20 national team in its preparation for the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Canada in 2007. On that team, Payne coached recent Maryland standouts Chris Seitz (Real Salt Lake, MLS) and Robbie Rogers (Columbus, MLS). In the summer of 2006, Payne served as an assistant coach for the U.S. U-20 team that played in the Milk Cup in Ireland and finished second.
Payne, a B-license US Soccer Federation coach, came to Maryland after playing professionally with the Shamrock Rovers (Ireland) and SV Elversberg Football Club (Germany). With the Rovers, Payne was the 2001 Goalkeeper of the Year in the Irish Premier League. Prior to that, the Columbia, Md., native spent three seasons as the goalkeeper coach for the SV Elversberg U-16 team. From 2000-01, he played for Derry City (Northern Ireland) and also served as its U-18 goalkeeper coach.
Payne, who also spent time with Major League Soccer's Colorado Rapids and Metrostars, coached collegiately at George Washington in 1997-98 as the goalkeeper coach under Shannon Higgins-Cirovski and as a graduate assistant goalkeeper coach with the Terp men in 1997.
A four-year starter for the Terps (1993-96), Payne was an All-ACC selection as a sophomore and led the Atlantic Coast Conference in goals-against average as a senior with a 0.88 mark. He recorded 22.5 shutouts during his four seasons and recorded 340 saves in his career in helping Maryland to three straight NCAA Tournament appearances. He also helped Maryland to its first-ever ACC Tournament championship in 1996.
Payne and his wife, Vanessa, reside in Washington, D.C.