TUSCALOOSA, AL (WBRC) - Longtime University of Alabama head basketball coach Charles Martin 'C.M.' Newton died Monday afternoon. He was 88 years old.
Newton was hired by head coach and athletics director Paul "Bear" Bryant in 1968. He led the Tide basketball program from that year through 1980. During his tenure in Tuscaloosa, the Tide had a record of 211-123. He led the Tide to four NIT and two NCAA tournament appearances.
"Coach Newton was a true leader in intercollegiate athletics," said Alabama Director of Athletics Greg Byrne. "He took risks and was willing to do the right thing even when it was not the most popular thing. He made a tremendous impact on The University of Alabama, the University of Kentucky, Vanderbilt University, Transylvania University and the Southeastern Conference. Thousands of student-athletes have been positively impacted because of his approach as an athletics director, a coach, and an exemplary human being."
"I was extremely saddened when I heard of the passing of legendary former University of Alabama coach C.M. Newton," said head men's basketball coach Avery Johnson. "C.M. was present at my first press conference when I arrived at Alabama back in April of 2015 and was always very supportive. He welcomed me with open arms and was so instrumental in my transition to The University of Alabama. C.M. impacted so many people in the world of basketball on the collegiate and professional levels and with USA basketball. His spirit will continue to live on, and we will strive to make him proud of us each and every day."
Newton's career as a head coach spanned 32 seasons with Transylvania, Alabama, and Vanderbilt.