Matt Hackenberg

In Memoriam: Coach Ken Newlon 1925 – 2012

By Matt Hackenberg

Ken Newlon

The Sports Time Machine lost a great friend this week as legendary Lincoln and McKinley basketball Coach Ken Newlon passed away.  Ken was not only amazingly talented as a coach (with  a career spanning 34 years and 527 wins) but was also a true gentleman.  We’ll miss you Coach.

We were blessed to have Coach Newlon on our show twice.

The first was a show from 2010 celebrating the greatness that was All City Night and can be listened to here.

A couple weeks later, Ken returned for a visit that focused on the early 80s rivalry between McKinley and Bob DeLap’s Canton South.  That episode can be listened to here.

In addition, our very own Billy (Billy J.) Johnson played for Coach Newlon at Lincoln; a show featuring some great reminiscing can be enjoyed here.

Ken Newlon & Larry Hackenberg in 2010

Finally, here’s an article profiling Coach Newlon from Larry Hackenberg’s 1986 Sports Time Machine book.  The article was penned by the late Gregg Palmer.

Coach Newlon hails from Grafton, West Virginia where he was an outstanding basketball and baseball player. At the age of 16, Ken entered Fairmount (W. Va.) State where he continued his prowess as a basketball player. Turning to more important matters Newlon fought for his country in World War II, flying 27 missions over Germany from Great Britain as a tail gunner on a bomber.

Even in 1960 Ken NewIon was acknowledged as one of Ohio’s great coaches, having produced outstanding basketball teams at three high schools. NewIon had put Stone Creek (Tuscarawas County) on the basketball map by winning the county championshiip (the school’s first ever) in his second season. Interest was so keen that most of the 50 boys in the school tried out for the team. He moved to Strasburg after seven years at Stone Creek, and they still talk about the Ken NewIon teams there. In his last two seasons the Tigers went 47-5, providing the impetus for Newton to get the Canton Lincoln coaching job.

Under Newlon’s direction, Lincoln Lion basketball teams had enjoyed records of 17-4 in 1956-57, 17-3 in 1957-58, and 20-4 with a District championship in 1958-59. Lincoln teams were always recognized by their sound fundamentals, aggressiveness and confidence.

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