Posted: 5:08 pm Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

Spanish River hires Rod Payne as head football coach 

By Jeff Greer

It didn’t take long for Rod Payne to land on his feet after Howard Schnellenberger retired as Florida Atlantic’s head football coach.

Rod Payne (Photo by FAU Athletics)

Spanish River hired Payne, 37, who was a defensive line and strength and conditioning coach at FAU, as its new head football coach. He replaces Ray Berger, who resigned in November after the school’s best season in recent memory that saw the Sharks snap a 26-game losing streak and finish 4-6.

Payne was a standout offensive lineman at Miami Killian and played his college ball at Michigan. He spent three years in the NFL before injuries forced his early retirement. He was the head coach at Fort Lauderdale-Westminster Academy and Miami-Varela before joining Schnellenberger’s staff in 2009.

ESPN 760 first reported the hire, which was the last head-coach opening in Palm Beach County.