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Saturday, December 16 News

Newsom tabbed as storm coach

NEW CANAAN—Coaching changes can be a tumultuous time for a program.

This is not one of those times.

Coming off back-to-back FAA and NEPSAC Class C titles, St. Luke’s coach Drew Gladstone moved on from the program in order to take the next step in his career at the college level at Indiana University.

Recently, St. Luke’s named Tony Newsome to be Gladstone’s replacement.

“The great thing about this process, is that our basketball program at St. Luke’s has been at a high level for the last few years,” Athletic Director Mike West said. “…we had a great number of highly qualified candidates; ultimately Tony’s experience, his focus on character, sportsmanship and desire to continue to build the program and the success of the program made him the most attractive candidate.”

Knowing that the foundation of success is in place, Newsom has the unique task of sticking with what’s worked, while also making his individual mark on the program.

“I’m fortunate where I have a special group of seniors that have been there for a lot of the winning,” Newsom said. “I’m going to lean on them a little bit, but obviously I have to do things my way. When you’re winning it’s one of those things where, if it’s not broke, don’t fix it but I have to be true to myself, there will be some things that stay the same, but some things that are different.”

While Gladstone left to pursue dreams at the college level, Newsom enters with a wealth of experience in that area, having spent the last 20 years at various programs around the country as an assistant—the last two at Quinnipiac.

The basketball program at St. Luke’s, and really all athletics at the school, have tasked themselves with developing not just athletes, but young men and women. The programs pride themselves on getting players to the next level, whether competing collegiately or as a student, making Newsom a natural fit.

“There’s no question, being able to support our kids who want to play at the next level is what were looking for as a varsity head coach,” West said. “And Tony’s experience of institutions that have good basketball teams and institutions that are academically rigorous as well is a perfect segue of what we’re trying to create and our culture at St. Luke’s, in terms of the student-athlete model.”

With ties at the Division I, II and III levels, Newsom has the flexibility to be a liaison to players of every skill set and interest.

“Knowing a lot of the coaches helps and doing different levels is a bonus,” Newsom said. “Being able to pick up the phone and call people I already have a relationship with, that’s important to me to help the kids in any way possible to reach their goal. Whether that be Division I, II or III, or someone who isn’t going to play in college but needs a letter of recommendation, all those things are important to me.”

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aparelli@bcnnew.com @reportedbytheAP

Anthony E. Parelli|Sports Writer, Sports Editor

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