The phone bill was high and Skype certainly helped, but Myron Newton, then a coach at Coffee High School, missed his family.
His wife was teaching at Greenbrier Middle School and living in Augusta, so Newton was searching for a way to get closer. When the Butler head football job opened, Newton found his answer.
Not only did he get a chance to be a head coach, but he could be one with his family next to him.
“To be home, I have no words for it,” Newton said. “I deal with kids all day, every day, but it’s nothing like being able to go home at night and see your kids. I have no words for that. Oh, man.”
Newton, 36, no longer has to go days without seeing wife Evelyn or children Kemuel, 6, and Kyarra, 10. He also replaces Ashley Harden, who left for Jenkins County after going a combined 15-6 the past two seasons following Butler’s 41-game losing skid. Newton’s challenge is to take the Bulldogs to a higher level — even with a dearth of experienced players.
But the two coaches had a short chat about the Butler job, and Newton said he heard all he needed to when Harden said the student-athletes were dedicated.
Still, Newton is tasked with building a sustainable program in Augusta without the resources and talent pools that elevate county schools. Newton isn’t starting over, but he doesn’t want any winning season to be a source of satisfaction. He wants Butler to go for more.
“We’re talking about good seasons, not championships,” he said. “Nobody mentions a state championship or a run in the playoffs. Those are the long-term goals.”
Newton’s voice is strong and confident, with barely any breaks between sentences; he knows what he wants to accomplish.
But he knows how to win. He’s won a national title as a coach for Georgia Military College and won conference crowns as a player at Murray State while coached by Houston Nutt. He even reunited with Nutt at Arkansas for the 2003 season as an assistant in the weight room and with the running backs.
The coach hopes this past success draws people in. Once he has the attention, he’d ready to work.
“Everybody talks to me all the time about my rings, but nobody talks about what you’re doing for kids’ lives,” Newton said. “That’s the opportunity that stuck out to me and made me want to be a head coach.”