JR Payne hired as Colorado's basketball coach

BOULDER, Colo. -- Colorado has hired JR Payne from Santa Clara as the replacement for women's basketball coach Linda Lappe.

Athletic director Rick George announced the decision on Monday as Payne becomes the eighth coach in the history of the women's basketball program. She signed a five-year deal that's pending approval from the board of regents.

Payne is coming off a season in which she led Santa Clara to a 23-9 record and made the WNIT field. It was a season filled with highlights for the Broncos, who won at Pac-12 power Stanford for the first time in three decades.

The 38-year-old Payne was 34-27 in two seasons at Santa Clara.

She takes over for Lappe, who stepped down after six seasons with the Buffaloes.

Payne graduated from St. Mary's (California) in 1999.