NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — It’s the end of an era. After 16 incredible years with the New Orleans Saints, head coach Sean Payton is stepping down. There were mixed emotions from Who Dat nation, who have watched Coach Payton revitalize the franchise since he arrived in 2006.

“I kind of expected it. He’s been here a long time. He got one Super Bowl under his belt, so it’s time for him to enjoy the rest of his life,” said Saints fan Kacie Smith.

“After finding out last year, when Drew Brees retired, I think he gave it a year, gave it a feel, and then realized he didn’t like it,” said Saints fan Victoria Miranda.

“It’s been a minute since we’ve been champions, so I feel like he could’ve at least gave us another year, if not even a whole year – just a few more months just to give us a chance to redeem ourselves, you know?” said Saints fan Josh Hamlin.

Payton brought New Orleans its first Super Bowl championship and lifted the spirits of New Orleanians after Hurricane Katrina devastated the city. Though Payton is leaving the Saints, he hasn’t ruled out coaching in the future, to the delight of other NFL fans.

“I’m glad he’s retiring. I hope he comes to Chicago and coaches the Chicago Bears,” said Al Jury.

The Saints’ fans we spoke to say they appreciate everything Payton has done for the city and believe his legacy here will last forever.

“Our city really values him, he’s a big part of our city. Having the saints come back after Katrina and having him and Drew made the city alive again,” said Miranda.

“Well of course, his legacy in the city of New Orleans is going to be one of the best coaches that came to the Saints’ football team,” said Hamlin.

“I’m happy with everything he’s done, we love him, he’ll go down in history as the best coach,” said Tony Chiusano.