SIU Men's Golf coach Leroy Newton announces his retirement

    Leroy Newton

    Leroy Newton
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    May 5, 2014

    CARBONDALE, Ill. - Southern Illinois University men's golf coach Leroy Newton announced his retirement on Monday after serving 18 seasons at his alma mater -- the culmination of a 45-year career as a highly respected educator, administrator and golf coach in the region.

    Shortly after graduating from SIU in 1967, Newton served as principal in the Carterville school district and didn't take up golf until the age of 29. He quickly became one of 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 coached golf at Carterville High School before becoming the men's golf coach at John A. Logan College in 1994. Newton elevated the Volunteers to national prominence with a No. 2 rating in the NJCAA polls and produced four national qualifiers. He took over SIU's program in 1997.

    Newton has guided the Salukis to top four finishes at the Missouri Valley Conference Championships in eight of the last 11 years. He was named MVC Coach of the Year in 2004, and his best finishes were in 2008 and 2010 when the program earned second-place showings.

    "Not only has Leroy been a tremendous ambassador for the sport of golf in the Southern Illinois region, but his ability as a teacher has had a profound impact on so many young people throughout his storied career," said SIU Director of Athletics Mario Moccia. "We are deeply grateful for his service to our University and wish him all the best in retirement."

    During Newton's tenure at Southern, 13 golfers earned All-Conference recognition, while 11 earned the MVC Scholar-Athlete award, including Academic All-American Todd Obergoenner. The team won 11 tournaments and finished in the top three at 45 tournaments under Newton.

    "It's time that I retired and let somebody younger come in and see what they can do," he said. "I've enjoyed every minute of being the Saluki men's golf coach and the relationships I've had with so many great kids. My only reason to come back would have been to improve on our seventh-place showing at the MVC Championships, but I'm leaving a good nucleus of four good golfers for the next coach, and it's time for me to step aside."



    Moccia said the search for a new men's golf coach will begin immediately.