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EIU ready for Sean Payton ceremony

Charleston, IL (Sports Network) - Fresh off Thursday's season-opening win, Super Bowl-winning coach Sean Payton of the New Orleans Saints will have his jersey number retired by his alma mater, Eastern Illinois University, during the Panthers' home opener Saturday against Central Arkansas.

Payton wore No. 18 when he was a quarterback at EIU from 1983-86, and set the program's career records in total offense (10,298), passing yardage (10,655), pass completions (758) and touchdown passes (75). His touchdown passes record was broken in 2002 by current Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, who last year became the first player in EIU football history to have his number retired.

Payton helped EIU advance to the FCS playoffs in his senior season of 1986. During his career, he had five games with 400 or more yards passing, including a 509-yard effort against Saginaw Valley.

Payton is in his fifth season as the Saints' head coach, where he is 43-27 since taking over in 2006, including Thursday's 14-9 win over the Minnesota Vikings.

Redshirt senior wide receiver Charles Graves currently wears the No. 18 jersey, and will be the final EIU player to wear the number.

09/10 09:43:01 ET

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