Soaking the Coach: Players help Newman celebrate 200 mark
UAFS men's basketball coach Josh Newman walked out of the locker room soaked after being doused with water by his players. Admittedly a little surprised by the impromptu celebratory shower, the veteran Lions coach didn't seem to mind too much.
The Lions, you see, had plenty to celebrate.
Five players scored in double-figures on Jan. 2 as the Lions finished their home stand with a convincing 104-60 win against the Oklahoma Panhandle State Aggies to give their head coach his 200th career coaching win.
Newman, who became head coach of the Lions in July of 2006, reached the milestone in his 11th season at UAFS. The Chino Valley, Ariz., native now owns a 214-119 career win-loss record – all as head coach of the Lions.
The former University of Nevada assistant coach helped usher the Lions through their transition from NJCAA to NCAA Division II. He guided the Lions to a 70-25 record during their final three seasons as members of NJCAA and has compiled a 144-94 record during eight seasons of NCAA Division II competition, which includes two seasons during which UAFS was a provisional member and ineligible for postseason competition.
"I'm a very fortunate head coach. I haven't won one game by myself. Every one of my guys and my assistants have made an impact greater than I can ever thank them," said Newman, who succeeded former Lions head coach and current Stephen F. Austin assistant coach Jeremy Cox. "It's truly about the program more than me."
The Lions didn't waste much time making sure their coach would earn his career milestone in front of the home crowd at the Stubblefield Center. UAFS, which never trailed in the game, jumped out to an early 4-0 lead and enjoyed a comfy 23-point lead (55-32) at halftime.
UAFS led by as many as 50 points with less than eight minutes left in the second half.
All 11 of the Lions who played scored at least two points as the Lions' bench accounted for 62 of their 104 points. UAFS shot 49 percent from the field (41 of 83) – it was 6-of-23 shooting from 3-point range – and shot 73 percent from the free-throw line (16 of 22).