Legendary Compton College coach Jim Newman passes away

James "Jim" Newman won two state championships while head coach at Compton College. (Photo courtesy of Michael Hopwood and Compton Herald)
James "Jim" Newman won two state championships while head coach at Compton College. (Photo courtesy of Michael Hopwood and Compton Herald)

Courtesy of Compton Herald

COMPTON, Calif. — Legendary basketball Coach James “Jim” Newman, one of the great sports figures in California history, will be laid to rest in a “Homegoing Service,” Tues., July 11, 2017, at 11 a.m., at Saint Albert The Great Catholic Church, 804 E. Compton Blvd., Compton [MAP].

Newman’s climb as a coaching legend began at Compton High when he served as an assistant coach under Bill Armstrong for the undefeated 1968 Compton High Tarbabes.

From there he became head basketball coach for cross-town rival Centennial High, where he enjoyed moderate success, but it was Newman’s milestones at Compton College that catapulted him into the annals of California community college coaching history.

Two state championships and a sparkling 33-0 record in 1970, established the Compton College Tartars as one of the most prolific junior college teams in U.S. history. The Tartars once scored 166 points in a single game, a record that still stands. The team was inducted into the Tartars Athletics Hall of Fame on April 23, 2011.

Newman went on to serve as an assistant coach at the University of New Mexico, and Arizona State University; and head coach at California State University, Los Angeles.

“Coach Newman has been a father figure, a mentor, a friend, [and] my extended family over the years along with many of my teammates,” said Michael Hopwood, one of his former standout players. “Without him, I would not be where I am today. He taught me how to play basketball, believed in me, and refused to accept anything but my best effort.

“But most of all, he allowed me to see beyond the limitations of my surroundings and to dream that I could become somebody and helped me and so many others to get there,” Hopwood continued. “I celebrate his life and honor the man who has been so instrumental in our success. The impact he had on his family and the lives of others will be his lasting legacy.”

Cards and letters may be sent directly to Mrs. Harriet Newman, 2127 N. Nestor Ave., Compton, Calif. 90222. For more information call (310) 329-7548.


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