WOAY – Michael Payton, the quarterback who led Marshall football to its first national championship, passed away Thursday at the age of 48 after a battle with cancer.
Originally from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Payton was the Thundering Herd quarterback from 1990-92. In his final year in Huntington, Payton passed for 31 touchdowns and 3,610 yards, as Marshall went 12-3 and defeated Youngstown State to win the NCAA Division I-AA national title.
After college, Payton played one season in the Arena Football League with the Florida Bobcats. He was inducted into Marshall’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 1999, and the College Football Hall of Fame in 2015.
Marshall Athletic Director Mike Hamrick said in a statement Thursday, “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the friends and family of Thundering Herd great Michael Payton. An All-American and a member of the Marshall Athletics and College Football Halls of Fame, his loss will be felt by so many.”