Former Elmhurst York (IL) High School cross country and track and field coach Joe Newton passed away Saturday morning at his home in Arizona. He was 88 years old.
Newton taught and coached at York from 1956 until his retirement last November. He became the school's cross country coach in the fall of 1960. Two years later, York won its first state title.
While he was coach, the "Long Green Line" won 28 state cross country titles. He also coached York to a state title in track in 2000, his final season coaching that team. His 2004 cross-country team was the inaugural winner of the Nike Team Nationals.
"I had the honor of spending some quality time with Mr. Newton in the early NXN/NTN years," Bill Aris, coach of the 11-time NXN champion Fayetteville-Manlius girls cross-country team, told DyeStat. "It was a thrill for me and it was a real good camaraderie and time to communicate with him. His York boys teams were powerful and my Stotans and his guys would lock horns and there was nothing but mutual respect.
"I thought the world of the guy. Probably our coaching styles were a little bit different, but in some ways old-school similar. He produced great ones. He produced people of great character and his kids were a reflection of him. I have nothing but respect for him and his legacy."In 1988, Newton became the first high school coach named to a U.S. Olympic Team coaching position, guiding the marathon squad at the Seoul Games.