Erickson becomes first player in school history to win three career tournaments
Cauldwell tied for individual lead heading into final round
Salukis post longest sub-300 rounds streak in nearly five years
SIU extends sub-300 team score streak to five rounds
Erickson moves into second place in career rounds at SIU
Leroy Newton is entering his 17th season at the helm of the Southern Illinois University men's golf program. Since becoming the program's ninth head coach before the 1997 season, Newton has positioned SIU in the top of the Missouri Valley Conference. From 2004-2010, the Salukis finished in the top four in the MVC Championships. Newton was named MVC Coach of the Year after the 2004 season.
Newton led the Salukis to its first tournament win since 2009 during the 2011-12 season. The team won the Skyhawk Fall Classic by 14 strokes, and Jake Erickson earned medalist honors. Erickson went on to earn All-Conference accolades for the second time under Newton and also earned Missouri Valley Conference Scholar-Athlete team recognition and All-America Scholar honors.
The 2010-11 season was led by one senior and a trio of upperclassmen. Scores progressed throughout the year, only to fall back during the MVC Championships, ending the Salukis seven-year run in the top four at the tournament.
In 2009-10, the Salukis finished second at the MVC Championships for the second time in three years. Erickson earned All-Conference recognition as a true freshman under Newton.
In 2008, SIU tied its best finish (2nd) and set a team program-low (874) in the MVC Championship Tournament at the Davenport Country Club. Over the year, the team had five second-place finishes and a program-best four individual postseason award-winners.
Newton's 2006-07 squad finished in the top five at eight tournaments, including a fourth-place finish at the MVC Championship.
Newton is the second-longest tenured head coach to lead the Salukis, behind Lynn Holder who coached SIU for 30 years from the program's inception in 1947 to 1976. During his tenure at SIU, he has continued to develop successful teams both athletically and academically. In 16 seasons, Newton has produced 10 all-MVC performers, seven academic all-conference selections, and the program's first Academic All-American in 2008 (Todd Obergoenner).
Newton grew up in Hurs-Bush, Ill., and started playing golf at 29 years of age. He quickly became one the top amateur golfers in the state of Illinois. Newton captured more than 20 Southern Illinois Golfers Association (SIGA) titles and has won numerous senior events in the tri-state area. He won the 1998 title and finished second in 1996 at the SIGA Tournament of Champions. In addition, Newton was inducted into the Southern Illinois Golfers Association Hall of Fame.
Newton came to SIU on a basketball and baseball scholarship and graduated in 1967. After graduating from SIU, Newton served as the principal of Cambria Elementary School in the Carterville District. He earned a master's degree in administration from the University of Illinois. While at Cambria, he was the men's golf coach at Carterville High School for five years and sent multiple golfers to the state tournament. He went on to become the principal of Carterville High in 1978.
Newton also worked for 30 years as a high school basketball official in the Illinois High School Association and refereed numerous regional and state tournament games.
He served on the IHSA Board of Directors for 10 years and was the president of the board in 1993 and 1994. Following his retirement in 1994, Newton took over the golf team at John A. Logan College.
At Logan, Newton turned the program around in just two seasons, bringing the Volunteers to national prominence with a No. 2 rating in the NJCAA polls, producing four national qualifiers before moving over to SIU for the 1996-97 season.