Emory and Henry athletic director Myra Sims announced the hiring of Curt Newsome as head football coach. A 1982 graduate of E&H, Newsome returns to his alma mater with 15 years of NCAA Division I coaching experience and becomes the program's 20th head coach.
He replaces Don Montgomery, who stepped down in November after nine seasons, sporting a 45-45 mark.
"I couldn't be more excited to be the next football coach at Emory & Henry," Newsome said."I got my start in coaching in Southwest Virginia and it feels great to be coming home. Emory people know what Emory means, and I am excited about getting the alumni involved in the program and to begin working with the coaches on recruiting."
This past season, Newsome served as the assistant head coach and offensive line coach at Division I FCS James Madison. He held the same title for the final three years of his first run with JMU (1999-05). Before becoming assistant head coach, Newsome was a defensive line coach for three seasons and also worked with the tackles and tight ends for a year. The Dukes reached the NCAA Division I FCS playoffs on two occasions, winning a national championship in 2004 and claiming a pair of Atlantic-10 titles (1999, 2004).
"We are so very fortunate to be able to bring back one of our own to be the next head football coach at Emory and Henry," Sims said. "I began to hear about Curt Newsome as soon as I arrived at Emory and Henry. I learned quickly that he is widely respected because of all the success he's had in coaching, but that he is also beloved by many because of his outstanding character. He will be a strong leader for this football program and a great ambassador for the department of athletics and for the institution. I am confident that he is the right man to get this program to the level needed to add many more ODAC titles to the E&H record book."
Between his stints in Harrisonburg, Newsome was the offensive line coach at Virginia Tech for seven years, helping to lead the Hokies to a trio of Atlantic Coast Conference championships (2007, 2008, 2010), seven bowl games and a victory in the 2009 Orange Bowl.
Newsome's offensive line helped to produce four 1,000-yard rushers and Blake DeChristopher was selected as the ACC's Jacobs Blocking Trophy winner in 2011, the award given annually to the best lineman in the league.
"Southwest Virginia is critical to our success. We have to recruit the talent that lies right outside our back door," Newsome continued. "We have to be very visible in a three-hour radius and then reach out to other parts of the state and region. I look forward to continuing the relationships that I have with the high school coaches in this area of the state. Our current players will soon learn the expectations and our plans for what we are going to do. We lost a good senior class, so our success will begin with those players that are already on campus."
Prior to joining the college ranks, Newsome was an accomplished high school coach for 16 years. He collected five district coach-of-the-year honors, was the Eastern Region Coach of the Year on three occasions and was selected as the AP and VHSL Virginia State Coach of the Year in 1998. Newsome coached for 11 years at Kecoughtan High School in Hampton before concluding his time in the prep ranks at Heritage High School in Newport News.
"Curt has spent his entire coaching career in Virginia and is known by high school coaches across the Commonwealth as a tireless and effective recruiter," added Sims. "He is a proven winner who has had success at every place he's been throughout his career. His experience in recruiting, his record of success and his mature outlook will be a welcome addition to this young athletics department staff. I am honored and excited to have the opportunity to work with Curt and really look forward to having him join us."
Newsome got his start in coaching at Ervinton High School, where he was the Lonesome Pine District Coach of the Year in 1984. A native of Newport News, Va., Newsome holds a bachelor's degree in physical education from Emory and Henry, which he earned in 1982.
Newsome will officially begin his duties on Jan. 2.