Another former Crossett Eagle is returning home to lead the Eagle defense this football season.
Vincent Newton, a 2008 Crossett graduate, was hired earlier this month as the new football defensive coordinator and assistant basketball coach. He will also be the dean at the Crossett Middle School, replacing coach Justin Skender, who resigned at the beginning of June.
Newton said his plan ever since he declared a major in college was to come home to Crossett and coach. When the opportunity opened up, Newton met with the new high school football coach, Shawn Jackson, and superintendent Gary Williams and he said he knew immediately that it was time to make the move home.
“God worked this out. The position opened up and I felt that this was perfect timing to come home,” Newton said.
After graduating Crossett in 2008, Newton attended the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff on a baseball scholarship. He was the starting pitcher for the first four years and spent his fifth year as a student assistant coach.
He graduated from UAPB in 2013 and was hired at Stuttgart High School as an assistant football coach.
From there he went to Maumelle School District, where he was the head middle school football coach and won the River City Conference Championship.
The Bryant School District hired Newton in 2015. While there, he was an assistant football coach, the head middle school basketball coach and assisted with the high school basketball team.
In 2016 Newton and Crossett’s current high school basketball coach — Dominic Lincoln — were both on staff at Bryant when the basketball team made it to the 7A state semi-finals.
When Newton left Byrant, he went on to North Little Rock High School and was on the football coaching staff when NLRHS went undefeated in conference and played in the 7A state championship.
For the last three years, Newton has been employed by West Memphis School District, where he started as an assistant and was promoted to defensive coordinator. During his tenure there, West Memphis won the 6A East Conference Championship and made three semi-finals appearances in the state playoffs.
Newton says his biggest accomplishment so far, is getting the opportunity to come home to coach.
“I coached with a lot of pride at those other schools, but there’s something different about having the opportunity to come home where I played,” Newton said.
It is very important to him to have a positive impact on the lives of young people, he said.
“The most enjoyable thing is to see a kid that you taught or coached living a prosperous, productive life as an adult, especially if they might have been on the wrong path,” Newton said.
He said that he was blessed to have a stable home and he credits his parents with motivating him.
“Academics were a big deal to them,” he said. “They required me to always work hard, finish what I started, and leave everything better than when I found it.”
Newton also credits past coaches with playing a key role in his life and career. He said his college pitching coach, Marc McMilllan — who is now a coach at the University of Mississippi — really impacted him.
“He took me under his wing and taught me how to conduct myself and he taught me coaching ethics,” Newton said.
Newton returns home to join some of the coaches who coached him as well as close friends of his who have also returned home to coach.
“That makes this opportunity extremely exciting for me,” Newton said.
Another positive thing about the move for Newton is that he will be living in the same town as his parents
When he isn’t busy on the football field or in the basketball arena, he says he will most likely be found crappie fishing at the river with his father.
The Crossett School Board approved his hiring at this month’s meeting and he is already working as a Crossett Eagle.