Episode 46 – Marcus Newsom

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“I took a break (from responding to 300 texts) and I looked over at the trophy and put my hand on it and I just weeped. I just cried. And it was just an overflowing of joy”

As you will learn in this episode, Coach Newsom is filled with passion. He’s won 8 national titles with his women’s program before this year’s title. However, he set out on a goal to win a National Title with both programs and he finally achieved it. The emotions of finally accomplishing his goal took over and he embraced this moment alone with the trophy.

We are guilty of saying this before, but this may be our favorite conversation yet. This week on the program, we’re sitting down with the head coach of the 2021 National Champion Wartburg Track and Field program, Marcus Newsom. Over the last twenty-five years, coach Newsom has led over 500 All-Americans, en route to winning some sixty conference championships, and nine national championships between the men’s and women’s program. 

We begin this episode by recapping Newsom’s national meet experience, where he won his first national championship on the men’s side. From there we backtrack to a discussion of where he came from, influential figures in his life, and the origins of his coaching career. Coach Newsom also serves as the Diversity Issues Coordinator at Wartburg, and we have a discussion on the importance of a diverse program in a not diverse environment. Like us, you may be wondering what else a coach could possibly achieve, tune in to find out Newsom’s last remaining goal in coaching.

Article we referenced when talking to Coach Newsom: https://knight-wire.com/2020/11/10/a-proud-black-man-newsoms-past-influences-his-coaching-legacy/

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On the Men’s team being ready to win a national title:
“They believed in that dream that our men’s program would win a national title. When you get four classes that believe in that dream, they were willing to do the things that they needed to do, make the sacrifices they needed to make in order for that to happen.”

On the team’s point total at Nationals:
“Where the points came from, we expected to get those points.”

On speaking to his 4×4 before the race:
“Going over to those guys, they looked at me and they had a look in their eyes that told me they knew what needed to be done. I knew they didn’t need a message from me so I gave them all a hug and walked away.”

On being a coach:
“I would say over the course of the number of years that I’ve been blessed to be in this position as a coach, because I think coaching is truly a privilege, this is not my right. This is a privilege to be able to be a part of young people’s lives, and I don’t take that for granted at all. We get a chance to do something that a lot of people don’t as a coach, we get a chance to truly be able to see the overall development of young men and young women.”

On his important relationship with his mother:
“I told our team that I wish my mother could be here (at the national meet) because I owe this to her. She taught me what it was like to believe in my dreams outside of what my front doors showed me.”

On what he’s looking for in recruits:
“We tell our team you gotta dream big here and you cannot limit your dreams and you can not allow someone else to dictate what the outcome of your dream is going to be”

On taking in the moment after winning his first title with the men:
“I took a break (from responding to 300 texts) and I looked over at the trophy and put my hand on it and I just weeped. I just cried. And it was just an overflowing of joy”

On his support system, his mom:
“Even though we grew up in a very hostile, dangerous, tough environment, I had a mom that was always there and was always there to listen, always there to discipline, always there to guide me and direct me, but always there to support me and my sister and be our biggest fans.”

On his coaching style:
“One of the things I tell the team is that, I’m not going to always tell you what you want to hear. I’m going to tell you what you need to hear.”

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