COLUMBUS, Miss. (WTVA/MUW Athletics) - Director of Athletics Jason Trufant and The W Athletic Department have named John Newman as the new head coach for the Owls Softball program.
The 15-year college softball veteran joins the Owls Athletic staff after serving as the assistant coach at South Dakota State University. As a member of the Jackrabbit staff from 2014-2017, Newman spearheaded the recruiting efforts and worked on the individual development of the team's hitters. With his help, South Dakota produced five All-Summit League Players, three Summit League All-Tournament Players and the 2016 Summit League Freshman of the Year. The offense also broke 26 school records in 2015 and nine in 2016 to total 35 records set during his tenure.
Before joining the South Dakota State program, Newman assisted Ron Simpson at Methodist University in Fayetteville, N.C, serving two stints, one year in 2003 and four years in 2011-2014. During Newman's first season with the Methodist Monarchs, the team established a new program record for wins in a season with 38 and finished as the NCAA Division III Atlantic Regional runner-up. That team also finished 13th in the final NCAA Division III poll, a program best, and featured six All-DIAC selections, six Louisville Slugger/NFCA NCAA Division III All-Region players and a NCAA Division III All-American.
His second stint with the program produced a trio of All-USA South Conference pitchers and the 2012 USA South Athletic Conference Rookie Pitcher of the Year. During his four seasons, the program also had seven All-USA South Conference Players.
Rounding out Newman's coaching resume are times spent at the University of Ozarks, St. Louis Community College – Meramec, and the University of Missouri. As an assistant coach at University of the Ozarks from 2006-09, Newman served as the program's pitching coach and lead recruiter. He also assisted with the team's offensive development where he mentored the school's first two Louisville Slugger/NFCA All-Region Players and three American Southwest Conference All-East Division Players.
With many years of softball coaching experience under his belt, the Owls new head softball coach has colleagues nationwide singing his praises.
"Congrats to MUW on their selection of John Newman as the new leader of their softball program!!! John Newman knows the total game of softball and has bled softball for the past 15 years!!!...He has moved thru the ranks as a travel ball coach, JUCO assistant coach, college JV head coach, DIII assistant coach for 5 years and on to an assistant coach at the DI level and schooled under some strong programs, as well as coaches!!!. Additionally, it has been a family affair through those years as his wife and two daughters played softball, so what a total family experience!!!
John has done it all on the field, with his expertise in pitching, opponents better be ready, his nickname is "Statman" and I can assure you, he will have done his homework against every team he faces!!!
His attention to detail is second to none.
His teams will be well prepared in all areas!!! John Newman will be an outstanding head coach and I certainly welcome him and Tammy into our circle of head coaches for our great game of fast pitch softball. The student athletes in the softball program at MUW are in for a real treat having him as their new head coach!!!!...We wish John and the Owls a great upcoming season!!!"
Ron Simpson, Head Softball Coach (Methodist University)
"Kudos to The W on the hiring of John Newman. Having known John for over a decade, his current and future players are getting a coach that knows how to coach all facets of the game and he also realizes that building and maintaining relationships are paramount to any successful program. Nobody will outwork John on the recruiting trail so I expect to see The W competing at a high level right away. I'm happy for the players he's going to be able to coach, and also for John. It's a perfect fit."
Pete D'Amour, Head Softball Coach (Virginia Tech)
"John Newman will undoubtedly excel as a head softball coach. He has a fantastic eye for talent and the innate ability to find those rare 'diamond in the rough' type players. He is one of the most loyal human beings you will ever meet. Once you have him on your side, you have a teammate for life. He will fight for his players and arm them with all the knowledge and skills they need to succeed. I very much look forward to following his career and future success!"
3-Time NFCA All-Midwest Region, 3-Time All-Big 12, 2 WCWS Appearances, Former Member of Team USA and Former Assistant Coach (Wichita State)
"MUW struck gold with John Newman. You would be hard pressed to find someone in the softball community as connected as John. He has been around the game a long time and is able to teach the game with the best. John knows the game well, but more impressively, he is able to connect with young people and will help them to develop and sustain character. I know he will do great things with the Owls softball program."
Brian Levin, Head Softball Coach (Belmont University)
"John is an excellent choice to lead the Mississippi University for Women softball team. He is dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of his student-athletes. John knows that in preparing them to be the best they can be on the field results is building character, drive and the skill set necessary to be true champions in life."
Dot Richardson, MD, Head Softball Coach (Liberty University)
2-Time Gold Medalist ('96 & '00)
A native of Edgar Springs, Mo., and member of the of the National Fastpitch Coaches Association, Newman earned a Bachelor of Science degree in general studies from Columbia College in 2011.
Newman and his wife, Tammy, an active duty U.S. army captain and assistant professor of military science, have three children; Casey, Sam and Courtney and one grandson Caleb.