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Farmington

December 4, 2013

After a brief absence, Newton takes over Farmington hockey program

By Mike Moore
C & G Sports Writer

» click to enlarge «
After serving for 10 years within the Farmington High hockey program, Bill Newton is in his first year as head coach. The Falcons were 4-1 at press time.

FARMINGTON — He’d been there for 10 years, working with the junior varsity and varsity programs.

He’d been part of great success and assisted in program rebuilds.

And then, last winter, Bill Newton stepped aside.

“It was just time to pass my assistant torch on to some younger guys that needed to be a little more involved and have some more responsibility,” Newton said of his duties with the Farmington High hockey team. “The younger coaches were ready to take on some bigger roles.”

And then, head coach Mark Vellucci was offered the job at Novi High.

He lives in Novi, and his kids were part of the Novi school district.

“It was time for me to move on,” Vellucci explained. “I had a great run at Farmington but felt like it was my time to take a step that made sense for me in my career.”

And with that, Newton was back behind the bench with the Falcons.

“I saw the job posted, I went through the interview process and I was lucky enough to get the spot,” Newton said. “I feel real fortunate to be back with the team in this capacity. When I knew Mark was moving on, I felt it was important to keep the current staff there and not bring in an outsider. I’m happy to have this opportunity.”

Vellucci had nothing but praise for his former assistant and current replacement.

“I knew when I left, the program had to be left in good hands,” the new Novi coach said. “Bill is a guy who knows what he’s doing and is a perfect fit. I couldn’t be happier for him.”

Newton said he’s stepping in at a perfect time.

Last year was all about rebuilding.

After graduating 24 seniors in the previous two seasons, 2012-13 was a winter of youth.

The Falcons started slow, struggling to win in their first handful of games.

Then, things came together, and the guys closed the year on a 9-1 run entering the Division 3 state playoffs.

They eventually ended with a 15-10-1 mark.

Now, it’s time to continue building.

“We have eight seniors, and anytime you have that many veterans, it’s a great thing,” Newton said. “These are guys that have been around — have been part of the program for a few years now. Mark did such a great job getting this group to a (15-10-1) record last year, so I don’t think there’s a ton to change or a big system to replace.”

Newton maintains that his method of approach is a simple one.

“I’ve always believed that good offense comes from good defense,” said Newton, whose Falcons were 4-1 at press time. “That’s been our focus since the year started and one thing we will always strive to improve on.”

As for team and season objectives, those are simple, as well.

“As a team, winning a state championship is always the main goal,” Newton said. “That, a division title and the rivalry games. That’s what we want to do here.”

You can reach C & G Sports Writer Mike Moore at mmoore@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1038. Twitter Follow Mike on Twitter.