POSTED 2:55 p.m. EST, January 6, 2007

PAYTON RUNS AWAY WITH COACH OF YEAR AWARD

Sean Payton, a former whipping boy for guys like Bill Parcells and Jim Fassel, has been named the AP Coach of the Year in his first season as a head coach.

Payton led the Saints back from a disastrous 3-13 campaign in 2005, which featured no games in the Superdome due to Hurricane Katrina, to a 10-6 mark and their first ever playoff bye.

Payton received 44 of 50 votes.
Eric Mangini of the Jets was second in the voting, with three votes.
Marty Schottenheimer of the Chargers was third with two, and Jeff Fisher of the Titans received one.