Bryant Museum

Former Alabama basketball coach C.M. Newton inducted into ADs hall of fame

C.M. Newton’s impressive record started with his time as Alabama basketball coach

There aren’t too many honors C.M. Newton has not received, most related to his years as a successful basketball coach.
Newton first came into the national limelight for the extraordinary job he did in building Alabama basketball from a relative bottom-dweller in the Southeastern Conference to a national power. When Alabama Athletics Director Paul Bryant needed a new basketball coach in 1968, he took the relatively unknown Newton from Transylvania College in Kentucky. Newton had made an impression on the Crimson Tide athletics department in his time as a graduate assistant coach under Hayden Riley while Newton worked on his PhD.
Newton, who had played collegiately at Kentucky for Adolph Rupp (when Bryant was head football coach of the Wildcats), won only four games in his first year at Bama and eight in his second year, but when he retired in 1980 he had a record of 211-123, three SEC championships, two NCAA appearances, and four trips to the NIT (when that tournament meant something).
Four times he was selected as SEC Coach of the Year.
Newton’s retirement from coaching didn’t last long. After a short stint in the SEC office, he took over as Vanderbilt head basketball coach. From there he returned to his alma mater to become athletics director at Kentucky.
Newton, who now lives in Tuscaloosa, had been inducted into various halls of fame, including the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame and the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, for his coaching prowess.
This week in Orlando during the annual meeting of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics, Newton was inducted into that body’s hall of fame. He had previously been named the Athletics Director of the Year in 1999 at Kentucky.
Newton was never far from basketball in his time at Kentucky, serving as president of USA Basketball in 1992-96. He was instrumental in formation of the original “Dream Team” that won the Gold Medal in the 1992 Olympics.


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