Joe Newton passes

Kevin Christian Illinois HS Cross Country, Illinois HS Track & Field 3 Comments

Joe Newton, the legendary York high school cross country and track coach passed away today in Arizona after a brief illness. In over fifty years of coaching, Joe’s teams won 28 Illinois state cross country titles and one track state title. A feature-length documentary was made about his life and successes, called The Long Green Line after his team’s nickname.

Among his many accomplishments he was an assistant manager in charge of marathon runners in the U.S. team for the 1988 Olympics. He was the first high school coach to hold such an honor.

He was awarded the National Cross Country Coach of the Year four times and has written four books, concentrating on training and motivation. He was known for tremendous motivational talks that focus on the philosophical and psychological factors that are required for success.

Joe was one of the founders of ITCCCA. He was very highly thought of through out the world coaching ranks.

Comments 3

  1. Sorry to hear of his passing, but make no mistake, Joe Newton will live on in memories and thoughts as long as we are running high school cross country and track. We can only imagine the number of thrills and the successes that Joe experienced. I feel proud to have known Joe and to be so readily greeted by Joe whenever I had the opportunity. To the people of York and Joe’s family, I salute you.

  2. A young man from Illinois will break my Detweiller course record of 13:50.6 LONG BEFORE any Illinois (or American for that fact) prep coach matches or breaks Coach Newton’s 28 State X-C Boys Team Championships. I was proud to be his friend and he was coaching and winning titles back when I was in high school. He had a profound influence on me and I was not even on his team! Joe was also a coach on my first U.S. Junior Team that ran against the Soviet Union out in Sacramento back in 1972. I was fortunate to attend his retirement ceremony last year and I was so glad that I did. I agree with Dike above…. his memory will never be diminished … as long as there is a state meet at Detweiller Park every year. It just won’t be the same without him “holding court” under that one tree 400-500 yards from the finish line. Every year, people would line up there to pay homage to “the king”… and “what a king” he was. RIP, Joe, you will be missed but never forgotten.

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