The North Queensland Toyota Cowboys have today unveiled Todd Payten as the club’s next Head Coach on a three-year deal beginning in the 2021 season.
Payten was previously a member of the Cowboys coaching staff from 2015 to 2018, including as assistant coach for the club’s maiden premiership in 2015.
As a player, the 41-year-old appeared in 259 NRL games for the Raiders, Roosters and Wests Tigers, winning a premiership in 2005 with the Tigers.
Payten transitioned into coaching immediately after his playing career ended in 2011, coaching the Tigers NYC team to a grand final victory in 2012 and another finals appearance in 2013.
He progressed to an assistant coach role with the Tigers NRL side in 2014 before moving to the Cowboys the following season.
Payten departed North Queensland at the end of 2018 to take up an assistant coach role with the Warriors. In June he was named Interim Head Coach of the Warriors for the remainder of the 2020 season.
“We went through a thorough process and were thrilled with the large number of exceptional candidates who expressed interest in being the next Head Coach of our club. We are delighted to bring Todd back to North Queensland and believe he is the right choice to lead our club into an exciting new chapter,” Cowboys Chairman Lewis Ramsay said.
“His strong leadership abilities, the importance he places on culture and communication and the confidence he has in continuing to develop our playing group were all major factors in choosing Todd as our next Head Coach.”
CEO Jeff Reibel said the Cowboys had secured a high-quality coach with a thorough understanding of the club’s importance to the North Queensland community.
“We have been fortunate to secure the services of one of the best young coaches in the NRL. Todd has served his apprenticeship over many years, firstly at the Wests Tigers, here in North Queensland and finally at the Warriors,” Reibel said.
“He also understands here at the Cowboys we are more than just a rugby league club, he appreciates we are a community-focused club which brings the whole of North Queensland together.
“Todd has proved he is ready to be a Head Coach and we’re delighted to give him that opportunity at the North Queensland Toyota Cowboys.”
Payten said he and his family were thrilled to be returning to North Queensland.
“I am honoured to be appointed Head Coach of the North Queensland Toyota Cowboys. I’m excited for the opportunity which lies ahead for myself and my family. Returning to this club, town and region is something which makes us extremely happy,” Payten said.
“I see a huge amount of upside within the Cowboys organisation and it is my job to see that eventuate into results on the field. Developing the players within the club to be good footballers and good men along with playing a style of football our members and supporters can be proud of will be my main focus.”