Roger Newton, the new girls basketball coach at Franklin County, is following a friend's advice.
"A friend of mine at Henry Clay has said for years I need to be coaching girls because he's really enjoyed it," said Newton, who met with players and parents Monday evening at FCHS. He replaces Lenore Sparks, who coached the Lady Flyers the past two seasons.
Newton, 36, has coached boys basketball at East Jessamine and the Lexington Christian Academy, and he was athletic director at both schools. This will be his first job coaching girls basketball.
"I've been around it for so long," Newton said of girls basketball. "As the boys coach you share a gym with the girls team, and then I was athletic director. We always had good programs where I've been, and I was always very supportive of girls basketball when I was athletic director."
Newton's last coaching job was at TLCA, and in January 2001 he went to work for the athletic department at Baylor University as assistant director of the Bear Foundation, which raises funds for student-athlete scholarships. During his tenure the foundation raised $2.1 million.
After leaving Baylor Newton, a native of Lexington, moved to the purchasing department at the University of Kentucky where he worked with the athletic department.
"I wanted to return to work with young people," Newton said about returning to coaching. "I've had opportunities to be a head coach at other places in the last year and while they were good opportunities they weren't the right fit for me.
"I'm really looking forward to this," he added. "People might say other places were a better situation in their eyes, but this was the best fit for me and my family."
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