Lobo Athletics: New coaches Newton, Goldman ready for challenge
July 11, 2017 at 10:28 p.m.
Updated July 12, 2017 at 10:40 a.m.
Longview athletic director John King made no bones about the state of the two programs of which he had to fill coaching roles.
The two names that were selected spoke freely about how they were up to the challenge that's ahead.
King introduced Don Newton, who takes over the Lobo basketball program, and Jim Goldman, the new Longview baseball coach on Tuesday in a meet-and-greet for players and parents at the Longview ISD Athletic Offices.
"The first thing that stuck out to me is that both truly want to be here," King said in his opening remarks. "It's real clear that there's work to be done.
"They're not scared of the challenge ahead and there's commitment all the way around."
Newton, who comes to Longview after a seven-year stint at Corsicana, spoke frankly about the potential in Lobo basketball, a program that has missed the playoffs the past two seasons.
"I'm excited because it's a great opportunity to come in and work," Newton said. "It's a good athletic culture, a good town, a good setup and an opportunity to build a program starting with the middle schools," Newton said. "I think there's a lot of positive factors other than the historic background of Longview.
"It presents the opportunity to work with a program that a lot of basketball coaches, not just me, see as a sleeping giant. I don't have any pause when I say that."
Taking over at Corsicana seven seasons ago, Newton inherited a team that went 0-27 in the previous year. To Newton, an Orange native and Oklahoma Baptist graduate, a winless season is no different than one without a winning culture.
"That gets a lot of pub," Newton said of the 0-27 team he took over and built to a district champion in a few short years. "It's no different than taking over where they haven't made the playoffs or have a winning culture.
"The biggest thing is creating relationships where the kids understand who they want to be and how hard it is to work to be that type of person or player."
Quoting Alabama head football coach Nick Saban — 'It takes what it takes' — Newton spoke of the process he will bring to Lobo basketball.
"Every kid will tell you that they want to play college basketball or college football but they may not have a good grasp of what it really, really takes, the every day process," Newton said. "We're going to adopt that. You want to play in college, you want to be a shooter but that takes a certain level of commitment, a way to act in the classroom and on the court and how to be a teammate every day."
While the Lobo basketball program has seen success in the past, the Lobo baseball team is one that hasn't seen the third round of the postseason in program history.
Goldman, who led Carthage to a state championship in 2009 and turned around Central Pollok more recently, is ready for the challenge at the Class 6A level.
"It's just a great opportunity to coach at the highest level, the 6A level, and the job, it intrigues me," Goldman said. "I think we can do a lot of good things here but we're going to have to get after it every day."
With an emphasis on pitching and defense, Goldman said his recipe will remain the same as it was in seven seasons at Carthage.
"We're going to figure out a way to limit the opposition to 21 outs," Goldman said. "By rule, that's how many they get and that's what we want to limit them to.
"We'll be scrimmaging every day and from what I've heard, we've got some good arms here and we're good behind the plate. Those are things we're going to hammer every day."
Goldman, like Newton, acknowledged the level of dual-sport athletes at Longview. Both remained undeterred.
"My first goal is to learn the kids, learn their strengths and their weaknesses," Goldman said. "We've got to get to competing and it's going to start in the offseason.
"A lot of these kids are multi-sport athletes and with the football program being what it is, I want that to carry over to the baseball field. I was at Carthage for seven years and we loved trying to follow the football team up and we want to do that here. I want to do that here."
Both new coaches realize the work that lies ahead in the state's largest classification.
"We want to build this up," Goldman said. "It's a different level, believe me, I'm fully aware but if can throw strikes, play defense and compete every day, that's the recipe it takes and I truly believe it will work here."
Added Newton: "This is the fifth program that I've taken over and the journey, to me, is what I enjoy about coaching, when you're able to flip it, create excitement and have an impact in kids lives both on and off the court. Those are the things that jump off the chart to me."
Follow Hayden Henry on Twitter: @hayden_h