Leroy Newton, who has coached Southern Illinois’ men for the past 18 years, has retired, the school announced.
Newton, a 1967 SIU graduate, spent 45 years in education, administration and coaching golf. He coached at John A. Logan College from 1994 to 1997, before taking over at SIU.
The Salukis placed seventh at this year’s Missouri Valley Conference tournament but were among the top 4 in the MVC for eight of the past 11 years. He was the 2004 MVC coach of the year. SIU was No. 228 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings.
“It’s time that I retired and let somebody younger come in and see what they can do,” Newton said in a statement. “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.”
Although he didn’t take up the game until age 29, Newton became one of the top amateurs in the region, winning more than 20 Southern Illinois Golfers Association titles.
“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 Mario Moccia, SIU’s athletic director. “We are deeply grateful for his service to our University and wish him all the best in retirement.”