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After three successful years, Newton steps down as Farmington hockey coach

By: Mike Moore | Farmington Press | Published April 5, 2016


FARMINGTON — He won a state title in his first year.

Despite a roster overhaul in his second season, Bill Newton kept the Farmington High hockey program afloat.

This past winter, he guided the Falcons to 15 more wins and an Oakland Activities Association Red Division title.

After three successful seasons as head coach, Newton feels the program is on solid foundation and the time is now to hand off the reins to someone else.

“It’s the right time,” Newton said of his decision to retire from coaching. “I have two young assistants who are very committed, great students of the game. If they are fortunate enough to take over, this team is in great hands.”

No official decision on Newton’s replacement has been, or will be, made right away.

“If Scotty Bowman walks through the door, I think they will give him an interview too,” Newton said with a laugh.

Newton took over the Falcons prior to the 2013-14 season after coach Mark Vellucci accepted the head coaching job at Novi High.

After eight years as an assistant, Newton made the most of his first season as head coach, leading Farmington to a 20-10-0 season, a magical ride through the Division 3 state playoffs, and ultimately the program’s first hockey state title.

“That state championship year will always go down as one of my great memories,” Newton said. 

An equally impressive job of coaching was done the following year, though, as the Falcons hardly brought back anyone from the state title team and still managed an 8-14-3 overall record.

This winter, Farmington went 15-9-1 and shared the OAA Red title.

“All the great kids who have gone through the program — that’s what means the most to me,” Newton said. “We’ve had some great young men go through here who’ve had successful careers in the world. I like to think I had a little bit to do with that. You see them come in as freshmen and then leave as men as seniors. That’s’ the part you love.”

Newton, who has been battling colon cancer for a few years, said his health was a big reason in making the decision to step down.

“I have to dedicate a lot of time to it,” he said. “But I have a son getting married; I have a daughter graduating from college. I think it’s time for me to move on from the game.”

And he does so with no regrets.

“Very proud of the way we’ll leave this, the way the kids bought in and worked real hard to get to where we wanted to go,” he added. “I think we’ve done a great job for a few years with this team.”