Before the National Football League regular season even begins, New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton has notched a victory. The Saints have given Payton a contract extension that 2015, the team said Monday.

The Saints organization says Payton has agreed to the deal.

Payton's previous deal had him locked down through the 2012 season, but now he's got three more seasons added before the team kicks off the 2011 NFL season.

Payton became head coach of the Saints in 2006. He led the team to the NFC South title that year, and three years later he led the Saints to the organization's first conference championship and Super Bowl win, after the team beat the Indianapolis Colts.

Payton's record at New Orleans is 53-33, including postseason games. Payton is a former quarterback at Naperville Central high school and Eastern Illinois.

I am very pleased to announce this contract extension today for Sean that rull run through the 2015 season. Our goal is to continue to build a tradition of winning here in New Orleans and Sean represents that tradition, Saints owner Tom Benson said, in a release.

The Saints kick off the start of the NFL season on Thursday, playing at the Green Bay Packers in a nationally-television game (NBC). Kickoff is set for 8:30 p.m. EDT.

Before Payton joined the Saints, he was assistant head coach at the Dallas Cowboys. The New Orleans team had only made one post-season since they entered the league in 1967 as an expansion franchise.