Coach Joe Newton is a living legend. 23 AA state cross country titles (1 state track title), over 50 years of coaching, thousands of successfully motivated young men, and a happy family life are just the surface of this amazing man’s life which is the legacy of The Long Green Line.
“In coaching, you’ve got to be ready on the right day. You have to set goals and we take great pride at York in always being ready on conference and state meet days.”
Joe Newton grew up on the south side of Chicago where he attended Parker High School, earning twelve major varsity letters. There was no cross country team at Parker in the forties, but he competed in track, receiving All-American honors in the 100 and 220 yard dashes and the long jump.
He attended Northwestern University on a track scholarship. He not only participated, but studies every event in track in preparation for what he knew would be his future profession – - Coaching. After graduating with a B.S. degree in 1951 and obtaining his Master’s the following year, Newton was drafted into sixteen weeks of army basic training at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. He was permanently stationed there as an army athletic director. The experience was invaluable, and there was a lot of talent at Fort Leonard Wood, including three Olympic track performers on an undefeated team and a 36-9 basketball squad which produced three All-Americans.
The first civilian job for Joe Newton was athletic director and coach for Waterman High School in Illinois. Two years later marked the beginning of the Newton era at York. When Clarence D. East retired as athletic director and track coach, Newton applied and was hired as an assistant to new head coach, Adolph Stefani. Newton worked for three years under Stefani before taking on the head job in the fall of 1959. In three years, York had won the state cross country championship, and they have consistently been winning the sport ever since.
Over the past 40 plus years at York High School there have been dozens of athletes that have gone on to attend college on athletic scholarships. There have also been dozens of athletes that have gone onto coaching at the high school and college level along with Olympic, professional athletes, and leaders of industry.
York High School’s accomplishments in competition have been outstanding, but the key to all this achievement has been Newton and his ability to motivate. Motivation and the right mental attitude are characteristic of Coach Joe Newton and the young men who run for him.
Newton has authored four books about coaching cross country, including “Coaching Cross Country Successfully”.
This entry was posted on Friday, July 16th, 2010 at 5:21 pm
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