When Harold Newton first walked into Georgetown Day School in 1980, the high school, located on MacArthur Boulevard, had nowhere to play its home games. Seven years later a new school with a home field and gym were completed in Tenleytown. And today, 36 years later, he will be leaving the school as one of the most beloved figures in its history.
Newton has coached the GDS Men’s Varsity Soccer team for 30 years and in that time they have won 12 MAC banners. The team was first in the league eight years in a row from 1989 to 1996, back to back in 2001 and 2002, and back to back in 2012 and 2013. The team was ranked as one of the top soccer teams in the area by The Washington Post in five separate years, with the highest ranking being 8th in 2002.
Newton has also coached Women’s Varsity Basketball for 29 years, during which time the team went from the A division of the ISL to the more competitive AA division.In 2013 the team reached the DC State Tournament finals.
Some of Newton’s most lasting memories are the trademark wins of his teams. In men’s soccer these include championship game victories over Pallotti in 1987 and Field in 1990, wins against DeMatha, St. Stephen’s St. Agnes, St. Alban’s, Bullis, Episcopal and St. John’s in the soccer team’s first games against them, and recent triumphs over Sidwell: in 2005 for the MAC championship and the memorable victory in penalty kicks at GDS’ home field this past fall.
In women’s basketball, Newton remembers breaking Georgetown Visitation’s 38-game winning streak during his first year with the team, and defeats of Bullis and Georgetown Visitation in the 2012-2013 season.
Newton has coached many successful college athletes, including Kevin Koitz, who reached the soccer final four with Stanford, and Jacob Perlman, who reached the final eight with Brown. Additionally, Ben Young, Mike Klain, and Adam Glaser have achieved great success with the knowledge and skills they gained from Newton at Princeton, Harvard, and Middlebury, respectively.
Newton says that the thing he will miss most is simply watching GDS students compete in the MAC and ISL. “I would rather win than lose, but a good, hard-working loss has enjoyment,” he said.
Seeing athletes at GDS reach their potential has also given Newton great pleasure throughout his career. “People advance on such a wide spectrum that some people do not reach their full potential until senior year or some even later,” Newton said, “One of my greatest joys is that people who could hardly run a mile as ninth graders are now running in road races”
According to Newton, the only thing about his job at GDS he will not miss is waking up at 4:15 to get to school every morning.
Newton’s advice to GDS students, which he called “pretty cliché” is, “Enjoy whatever you are doing. You never know when your last game is going to be. Approach every game confidently but not over-confidently. Think you are going to win.”
To PE students, he suggests, “Get something out of every class. We have so many great teachers and you can improve your performance by paying attention and working hard at all times.”