Newton developed a national reputation for excellence in cross country.
He was an assistant manager in charge of marathon runners for the U.S. team at the 1988 Olympics, the first high school coach to be part of an Olympic staff. He wrote four books on running. A feature-length documentary, The Long Green Line (named after the team nickname), was made about his life and career.
And he made the York green and white synonymous with cross country.
He shook each runner's hand at the end of practice, and gave each runner a nickname.
"He had this booming voice that you could hear on the course. I got worried when he called me by my first name," Newman said. "He had a belief in us, and gave us confidence when we stepped to that line. We always wanted to run good for him. There were times we didn't, but he was always proud of our performance.
"There are many people that say he is Illinois cross country," Newman added. "His legacy is through every runner that puts on the green and white."
Newton's funeral was to be private, but the family plans to hold a memorial by early to mid-January, hopefully at York.