Newman named Assistant Men’s Basketball Coach at Western Kentucky

WKU men’s basketball has announced the hiring of Josh Newman as assistant coach for the upcoming 2024-25 season. Newman joins the staff at WKU following a stint at University of the Pacific in Stockton, Calif. from 2021-2024.

While at Pacific, Newman served as an assistant for the Tigers in the 2021-22 and 2022-23 seasons before being elevated to associate head coach in November of 2023. Newman was promoted to interim head coach prior to the 2024 West Coast Conference Tournament.

Newman brings with him 26 years of coaching experience at the collegiate level. Prior to joining the staff at Pacific, Newman served as head coach at Division II Texas Permian Basin for three seasons. Prior to his stop at UTPB, Newman spent 12 seasons as head coach at Arkansas-Fort Smith where he helped the UAFS program transition from the junior college level to NCAA Division II.

Throughout nine seasons at the NCAA Division II level, Newman’s UAFS teams earned four NCAA tournament invitations. Newman helped guide the Lions to a 168-96 overall record as a Division II program, winning five Heartland Conference Championships and one Heartland Conference Tournament Championship.

Before transitioning to NCAA Division II, Newman led UAFS to a 70-25 record competing in the NJCAA with a pair of semifinal appearances in the region tournament and two top-5 national rankings.

Newman also served as an assistant at Nevada for three seasons, helping guide the Wolf Pack to a 77-22 overall record in that time. Newman helped Nevada to three regular-season WAC championships, two WAC tournament titles and three straight NCAA tournament berths, including a run to the Sweet 16.

After beginning his coaching career at Arkansas-Fort Smith (previously Westark College) for one season, Newman spent two seasons at McLennan Community College in Waco, Texas and then two seasons at South Plains College in Levelland, Texas. While at SPC, Newman helped the Texans post a 61-9 overall record with consecutive conference championships and national tournament appearances.

Newman holds a total of 277 career wins and seven conference championships in 15 years as a head coach. He has been a member of 12 conference championship teams, seven NCAA tournament appearances and two NJCAA national tournaments over his career.

“Josh will be a great addition to our coaching staff,” head coach Hank Plona said. “He’s been a successful head coach at the NCAA Division II level for 15 years and will bring unique experience to our staff. He is a friend and a mentor to me and many others, and I can’t wait for him to be a vital part of our Hilltopper Basketball program.”

Newman is the second assistant coach hired to be announced by Plona for the Tops’ 2024-25 season.

“Western Kentucky Basketball is a name that resonates across the country, and I can’t wait to be a part of it,” Newman said. “I’ve always believed that Coach Plona was going to be a successful coach at the highest level and helping him have that success at WKU is a great opportunity. My family and I are looking forward to getting to know the great people of Bowling Green and are excited about our future!”