Aug. 21, 2012
THE FLATS – Georgia Tech assistant golf coach Christian Newton has been named the head men’s golf coach at Colorado State, the school announced Tuesday.
Formerly an assistant coach at Alabama and Georgia Southern, Christian Newton has spent the past five years at Tech, and has been a major part of the Yellow Jackets winning four Atlantic Coast Conference championships. The Jackets have been to the NCAA Tournament each of his five years on the Flats and finished each season with a national ranking in the top 10.
“I would like to first and foremost thank Coach (Bruce) Heppler for the opportunity he gave me five years ago,” said Newton. “Coach Heppler is the best college golf coach in the country, and I owe him everything for my career development. Without him I would not be the coach I am today. He has touched so many lives and I have been fortunate enough to be one of those lives.
“I also would like to thank the best student athletes in all of college athletics. Their hard work on and off the course has ultimately given me this opportunity. My players are wonderful and will be deeply missed. Tech alumni should be proud of the type of young men that represent their university. Additionally I owe a tremendous amount of thanks to Dan Radakovich, the GTAA, and our amazing donors. They are what make Georgia Tech golf extraordinary and not just a golf team but a golf powerhouse!”
Newton joined the Georgia Tech staff as assistant golf coach on August 1, 2007, and was promoted to associate head coach in the summer of 2011. He assisted in the development of 10 All-Americans and 13 All-ACC selections.
Involved not only in coaching, coordinating team practices and scheduling and the strength and conditioning programs for Tech’s players, Newton, 33, also assisted Heppler in recruiting and coordinated the Yellow Jackets’ golf booster club and fund-raising efforts. He served as assistant coach for the 2012 United States team that competed in the Palmer Cup, a Ryder Cup-style event that pits eight American college players against their European counterparts.
“Christian made a big impact in every aspect of the program,” said Tech head coach Bruce Heppler. “Our fund-raising level is the highest it has ever been, and our recruiting has improved tremendously. He did a terrific job day-to-day working with our players in practice. Implementing some new and effective things, and in areas like social media, which we had never done before. We lost one of the best coaches in the country, but people like Christian will get their opportunity to run their own program eventually. We were fortunate to have him for as long as we did, and I wish him all the best at Colorado State.”
His efforts and success in helping lift the Tech program were recognized by his peers in the spring of 2011 when he was named the recipient of the Jan Strickland Award, presented by the Golf Coaches Association of America to the nation’s top assistant coach. Newton had been a finalist for the award each of the two years prior.
A native of Lyons, Ga., Newton was an assistant coach at his alma mater, Georgia Southern, from 2003-2005, helping the Eagles to a tie for 13th at the 2005 NCAA Championship. He moved on to Alabama for two years (2005-07), helping coach the Crimson Tide to a sixth-place finish at the 2007 NCAA Championship
Newton earned a bachelor’s degree in sports management from Georgia Southern in 2002, and completed his master’s in sports management there in 2004. He played golf four years (1997-2001) for the Eagles, earned all-Southern Conference honors in 2001 and also played in the NCAA Championship that spring.
Newton was married in January, 2009, to the former Jessica O’Dwyer of Atlanta and the couple recently had their first child, Keegan.
“When I was hired five years ago I was the happiest man alive to work for Georgia Tech,” Newton said. “I married my wife Jessica and we had our son Keegan here so Atlanta and Georgia Tech will hold a special place in our hearts. This decision wasn’t easy, and it is with great sadness that I close a chapter in my life at Georgia Tech. However it’s with great excitement that my family embarks on this new chapter in our lives.”