Al Newman enjoyed a 40-year coaching career at Patterson Collegiate Institute, during which he won more than 30 WSSA titles. Particularly known as a football coach, Newman graduated 20 players do the Canadian Football League.
Newman was born in Detroit on April 2, 1912. After moving to Windsor, he attended St. Joseph and Windsor Collegiate Institute (later Patterson) before graduating from Assumption College in 1932.
Newman worked and coached at Paterson from 1934 to ’74. While he is most often remembered as an outstanding football coach, he also coached swimming, hockey, Junior boys’ and girls’ basketball, track, gymnastics, and the school rifle team. In 1936, he was memorably one of 27 student-coaches invited by the German Olympic Committee to attend the Berlin Games.
Newman won five WSSA Senior Football Championships, including three consecutive undefeated seasons in 1951, ’52, and ’53. Incredibly, his Patterson teams reached the City Finals in ten consecutive seasons between 1946 and 53.
From 1950 to ’62, Newman coached the Windsor AKO Juniors football team. There, he won the 1952 and ’54 Canadian Championships, four Eastern Canadian titles, and seven Ontario Rugby Football Union titles, including four in a row from 1952 to ’55. Newman’s AKO squads participated in the Canadian Finals in each of these five years.
Among the 20 future CFL players Newman coached at Patterson and AKO, Tommy Grant and Zeno Karcz stand out. Both men eventually won the Schenley Award (in 1964 and ’65 respectively), the league’s prize for its best Canadian player.
Outside of football, Newman accumulated a staggering record of WSSA Track and Field titles. His teams won 18 titles in a 19-year span, including 11 in a row. Newman also won five consecutive WSSA Boys’ Swimming titles.
At various points in his career, Newman served as WSSA Secretary (in 1935 and ’36) and OFSAA Director. He was a member of the Canadian Fitness Council for a three-year span.
Newman was consistently awarded for his coaching prowess and contributions to education. He received notable awards from the Windsor Coaches Association (1962), Windsor and District Referees Association (’72), and WSSA (’74).
Al Newman passed away on Nov 24, 2003.