Star-Bulletin Sports

Wednesday, August 4, 1999

W A H I N E _ B A S K E T B A L L

Wahine steal
Mustangs assistant

By Al Chase


The chance to indulge in two passions in one place was just too much for Jon Newlee to ignore.

Newlee will arrive the middle of this month to join Wahine head coach Vince Goo's staff as an assistant coach.

Newlee leaves a solid program at Southern Methodist where he was the top assistant to head coach Rhonda Rompola.

He was one of 20 people to apply for the UH position following George Wolfe's departure to take the head job at Portland State.

Newlee cited two reasons he decided to change employers.

"The number one reason is I know they have a great program. I've watched them for years and competed against them in the WAC. I know Vince and his staff do a great job," Newlee said.

"The second reason is definitely the location. I've been to Hawaii quite a few times. I'm an avid surfer and that's a big attraction.

"So, I thought when the situation came up, I could pursue both things, basketball and surfing. It seemed natural to talk to Vince, to see what he had in mind, to see what he was looking for."

"We had some good candidates from successful programs, some who we have beaten and some who have beaten us," Goo said.

Newlee was his choice because of the success of the SMU program, his longevity there and his recruiting contacts in Texas.

Newlee also had established a pipeline with Canadian recruits while at SMU.

Newlee was Rompola's right-hand man, the No. 1 recruiter, the schedule maker and was involved in a lot of on the floor coaching.

"That's been my main focus, to go out and get the kids. We all know how much better they make us look as coaches when we find the right kids who can play," Newlee said.

During his eight seasons at SMU, the Lady Mustangs were 155-82, were invited to five NCAA tournaments and upset Colorado State to win the Western Athletic Conference title last March.

Newlee described himself as an intense, demanding coach, but one who has had success in establishing rapport with his players at the junior college and college levels.

A native of Rialto, Calif., Newlee graduated from San Diego State in 1983 and received his master's degree in physical education from Azusa Pacific in 1990.

Prior to joining the SMU staff, he was head coach at Southwestern College (Chula Vista, Calif.) from 1987 to 1990 and an assistant at St. Mary's (Moraga, Calif.) from 1984 to 1986.
Ka Leo O Hawaii

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