State Stories

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Iconic York Cross Country Coach Joe Newton Announces He Will Retire After 2016 Season

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NFHS National High School Hall of Fame member Joe Newton, one of the most successful high school coaches ever, has announced that the 2016 season will be his last leading the York High School boys cross country team.

York High School’s press release announcing the news is listed below, while Newton’s remarkable career, which includes 28 IHSA team state titles, is summarized here.

“It is with mixed emotions that I inform the City of Elmhurst, York Community High School, and all previous and future York Community High School Cross Country Runners, that my father, Coach Joe Newton will be retiring from coaching at the end of this season,” said his son Thomas Newton. “The last 60 years have been the best years of his life, and I can tell you that he truly believes that York High School and the Elmhurst Community are the greatest places to be.

“As you know, when coaching young high school athletes, a level of mobility is required to maintain a championship program. I know that if my father’s mobility was such that he could keep up with the young men of the York High School Cross Country program, he would love nothing more than to continue with coaching. However, his mobility has been increasingly difficult to maintain at the level that is required to sustain such a program that he has built over the last sixty years."

“During the last few weeks he and I have had numerous discussions on what is best for him. Additionally, we also have spoken about what is best for the program and all future York High School Cross Country runners. We, the family, believe strongly that this is the best decision for all parties involved and that includes my father."

“I would also like to take this time to thank District #205 administrative personnel, York High School, the City of Elmhurst, parents of the runners who have come through the program, teachers who supported my father and the program, but most of all the men of the long green line for the love and support that they have given my father over the last sixty years."

“What has made this decision possible is the thought that my dad’s successor would be none other than Mr. Charlie Kern. He will always be very special to our family because we believe that he will keep the legacy of the long green line going for many years to come. Personally, I couldn’t think of a more deserving, talented, dedicated and committed young man to lead the Dukes. Thank you and God bless York High School, the Men of the Long Green Line, and the City of Elmhurst.”

This fall, Charlie Kern will serve as co-head coach of the York Cross Country team, along with Mr. Newton. A celebration of Coach Newton’s career will be held on Sunday, November 6 at York High School, following the cross country state meet that weekend.