Eldorado, Ill., native to lead Saluki men's golf
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
Leroy Newton announced his retirement on May 5, 2014. He coached SIU for 18 seasons and was only the ninth head coach in the 63-year history of Saluki Men's Golf.
After joining the prestigious Missouri Valley Conference in 1975, Southern Illinois posted eight top-three finishes at the annual league championships through 2013, and Newton guided SIU to five of those.
From 2006-13, Newton led Southern Illinois to five top-three finishes -- more than any conference program except Wichita State and Illinois State. The Salukis placed third in 2006, 2009 and 2013, and they took second in 2008 and 2010.
In his last 11 seasons, SIU placed fourth or better eight times. In fact, Newton was named the MVC Coach of the Year in 2004, after guiding his team to a fourth-place finish.
During Newton's tenure at Southern, 13 golfers earned All-Conference recognition, while 11 have earned the MVC Scholar-Athlete award. In 2008, Todd Obergoenner became the program's first Academic All-American.
The team won 11 tournaments and finished in the top three at 45 tournaments since Newton became head coach.
Newton grew up in Hurst-Bush, Ill., and started playing golf at 29 years of age. He quickly became one the top amateur golfers in the state. 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. After graduating in 1967, he served as the principal of Cambria Elementary School in the Carterville District. 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. Newton, who earned a master's degree in administration from the University of Illinois, 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.
Newton became the golf coach at John A. Logan College in 1994. At Logan, he elevated the Volunteers to national prominence with a No. 2 rating in the NJCAA polls, producing four national qualifiers. He took over SIU's program in 1996.