C.M. Newton Recognized As SEC Legend

Each year at the Southeastern Conference Men’s Basketball Tournament, the league recognizes a legendary figure from each school. Ordinarily, of course, the SEC Basketball Legend is a former player. This year the SEC will recognize a former Alabama coach.

C.M. Newton served as head coach at Alabama for 12 seasons (1968-80), compiling a record of 211-123 on the way to earning SEC Coach of the Year honors twice (1975 and 1976).

He led the Crimson Tide to 3 SEC Titles (1974, 1975 and 1976) and seven post-season berths, including two NCAA Tournaments and five NIT berths during his tenure at The Capstone.

Newton’s 1975-76 team advanced to the NCAA’s Round of 16. Four of his teams (1973-74, 1974-75, 1975-76, and 1976-77) finished ranked 14th or higher in the final national rankings.

His most remarkable legacy may have been integrating Alabama athletics, signing the program’s first African-American student-athlete, Wendell Hudson, in 1968.

After retiring from Alabama, Newton spent one year in the SEC office, then took over the men's basketball head coaching job at Vanderbilt. He moved from there to athletics director at his alma mater, Kentucky. Throughout his career he has been recognized as one of the most prominent men in basketball, including forming the original Dream Team for the Olympic Games.

He is a member of the National Basketball Hall of Fame.

Featuring former greats from all 14 Southeastern Conference member institutions, the 2015 Legends will be honored at the SEC Men's Basketball Tournament March 11-15 at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn.

In addition to Newton, who was a basketball player at Kentucky under Coach Adolph Rupp, the 2015 class includes:

Darrell Walker, Arkansas; Chris Porter, Auburn; Eddie Shannon, Florida; Jacky Dorsey, Georgia; Bob Burrow, Kentucky; Ronald Dupree, LSU; B.L. “Country” Graham, Ole Miss; Doug Hutton, Mississippi State; Derrick Chievous, Missouri; Jack Thompson, South Carolina; Johnny Darden, Tennessee; Sonny Parker, Texas A&M; and Bruce Elder, Vanderbilt.

Each man will be recognized at halftime of his institution's first game at the tournament.

Last weekend at halftime of the Alabama-Kentucky game, Newton and his 1974-75 team and staff were recognized.

This marks the 17th year of the SEC Basketball Legends program.


BamaMag Top Stories