Madison Southern named Austin Newton as their fourth head coach in school history today. Newton will replace Shane Butty who stepped down after 23 seasons as a coach at Southern. Austin is no stranger to the area, he played at Eastern Kentucky under Travis Ford. Austin came to EKU from Campbellsville where is the all time assist leader and second leading scorer in Campbellsville High School history. He played from 2001-2005 and was a senior captain on the 2004/05 team that won the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament. He was a three year Colonel Scholar-Athlete who graduated cum laude in 2005 with a 3.5 GPA in public relations.
After graduating he joined Travis Ford at Massachusetts as a staff assistant from 2005-2007. He came back to EKU and was the basketball operations assistant from 2008-10 and served as an assistant coach from 2010-2015 under Jeff Neaubauer. As an assistant he helped lead the team back to the NCAA tournament where the Colonel came close to knocking off #2 seed Kansas in the opening round.
One of his jobs as an assistant he oversaw the academic progress of the players. Under his guidance EKU was one of only 24 sports programs from across the OVC to receive a coveted APR public recognition award in 2014. EKU was one of only 40 out of 349 men’s basketball teams from across the country to earn the award. In 2012/13 EKU had the seventh highest APR score in the country in division men’s basketball. All this shows that not only will Newton expect his players to perform on the basketball court to also perform in the classroom.
In 2015 Newton moved over to the Colonel Club where he became the director. While he was in that position he more than doubled charitable gift from the previous year. He became the assistant athletic director of development where he was at the time of the hiring at Southern.