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Former Robert Toombs Golfer Gets National Award
Monday, 06 June 2011


1997 Robert Toombs graduate Christian Newton of Georgia Tech has been named recipient of the 2011 Jan Strickland Award presented by TaylorMade-adidas Golf as selected by the GCAA. The Strickland Award is presented to the NCAA Division I, II, III, NAIA or NJCAA assistant coach that, among other things, has excelled in working with their student-athletes both on the course and in the classroom.

“I’m very excited to receive this honor,” said Newton. “There were many deserving candidates and I’m proud to be among the great former recipients. I feel very lucky to work for Georgia Tech and Coach Heppler as they have provided me the opportunity and resources to grow as a coach.”

Newton has helped lead Georgia Tech to three team championships while two Yellow Jackets - Paul Haley and James White - have claimed medalist honors this season. He joined the Georgia Tech golf program prior to the 2007 season. Newton’s primary duties with the program include coordination of the recruitment process, organizing team travel, serving as director of Georgia Tech’s annual golf camp, managing the team’s booster club and fundraising. During his years at Georgia Tech, Newton has helped oversee the development of six All-America selections, nine All-ACC selections and three teams that have claimed the ACC Championship. He also implemented new concepts and drills into Georgia Tech’s practice sessions that have helped the squad become one of the highest ranked teams in college golf this season.


Formerly an assistant coach at Alabama and Georgia Southern, Christian Newton joined the Georgia Tech staff as assistant golf coach on August 1, 2007, and is now in his fourth year with the Yellow Jackets.

Involved not only in coaching and the strength and conditioning programs for Tech's players, Newton, 30, also assists Heppler in recruiting and coordinates the Yellow Jackets' golf booster club and fund-raising efforts.

He has been a finalist each of the last two years for the Jan Strickland Assistant Coach of the Year Award, presented by the Golf Coaches Association of America to the nation's top assistant coach. In six years as an assistant coach, he has helped guide his teams to the NCAA Championship five times, including his three years at Tech.

Newton, who worked at Alabama for two years (2005-07), helped coach the Crimson Tide to a sixth-place finish at the 2007 NCAA Championship and was involved in all facets of the Crimson Tide program. He helped revamp the golf booster program and golf camp while assisting in the development of all-Southeastern Conference players Michael Thompson, Gator Todd and Matthew Swan.

"He helped build Alabama's program into one of the nation's best," said Heppler. "He is involved in recruiting and all the other aspects of our program. I feel fortunate to have somebody with as much experience as he has."

A native of Lyons, Ga., Newton was an assistant coach at his alma mater, Georgia Southern, from 2003-2005, helping the Eagles to a tie for 13th at the 2005 NCAA Championship. He also assisted in coaching two All-Americans, Aron Price and David Palm, the Eagles' first All-Americans since the 1989-90 season.

Newton has worked as a golf shop assistant at Southern Links Golf Club in Statesboro and as assistant ticket manager for the AT&T Classic/Atlanta Classic Foundation, and competed on the Developmental Professional Golf Tour in 2002.

Newton earned a bachelor's degree in sports management from Georgia Southern in 2002, and completed his master's in sports management there in 2004. He played golf four years (1997-2001) for the Eagles, earned all-Southern Conference honors in 2001 and also played in the NCAA Championship that spring.

Newton was married in January, 2009, to the former Jessica O'Dwyer of Atlanta.

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