FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. — Fayetteville Tech has named John Newman as its head softball coach.
Newman brings nearly 20 years of collegiate coaching experience to the Trojans’ program, including two stints on staff at Methodist University.
Newman is a 54-year-old native of Edgar Springs, Mo. He has a bachelor’s degree in general studies from Columbia College and spent his off-field career in civil service.
He takes over the Trojans as the team heads into its fourth year.
“I think this is a perfect fit,” said Newman, who said he was grateful to FTCC President Dr. J. Larry Keen and Athletic Director Dr. Shannon M. Yates for the opportunity.
“It’s a new program, and it’s a challenge. The program’s not won more than 10 games in a season, and I think we can do better there.”
The Trojans have reached the NJCAA Region 10 Division II tournament twice — in 2019 and 2021 — in as many complete seasons. The 2020 season was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Newman said working at the two-year level can help athletes develop to find more college playing opportunities.
“I can work with a player for two years and get a door opened for her or get her an opportunity that wasn’t there for her as a senior in high school,” Newman said. “They can get some structure, and in two years, move on to either a four-year program or to having a life and job.”
Newman’s hiring marks a return to Fayetteville for the coach, who has twice worked as an assistant to Ron Simpson at Methodist. Newman’s wife, Tammy, is a retired U.S. Army captain. The couple have three children and three grandchildren, and the coach said returning to Fayetteville has put them closer to their grandkids..
Newman was living in the Fayetteville area in 2002 and warming up for a softball game on Fort Bragg when Simpson spotted him windmilling pitches.
“He asked me if I knew how to teach it,” Newman said. “I said, ‘A little bit,” and he gave me his business card.”
During Newman’s first season with the Monarchs in 2003, the team established a new program record for wins in a season with 38 and finished as the runner-up in NCAA Division III Atlantic Regional. That team also finished 13th in the final NCAA Division III poll and featured six All-DIAC selections, six NCAA Division III All-Region selections and one NCAA Division III All-American.
From there, Newman has created a successful coaching career despite being a journeyman, with family moves dictated by his wife’s military career.
In between his two stints at Methodist, Newman was an assistant at University of the Ozarks from 2006-09. From 2009-10, he served as the director of Tiger Softball Camps Operations for the University of Missouri and worked as an assistant coach with St. Louis Community College-Meramec in 2009-10, helping the program finish second in region that season.
Newman returned to Methodist for four years beginning in 2011. He followed that with two seasons on staff at South Dakota State before becoming head coach at NCAA Division III Mississippi University for Women, which he led to a third-place finish in the 2019 Small College World Series.