(Coach Spotlight) - Tom "Noos" Newsom, (RIP)
I met Coach Noos in 1981. He was part of the track program and oversaw the pole vault, shot, discus, and high jump. I joined the track team because they needed bodies and it sounded like fun. I took an instant liking to Noos. He asked me to start jogging with him, and over a 4-year period throughout the summers and school year, I would jog with him periodically because he struggled with weight issues. Noos was a former standout college football player and had hurt his back. In 1984, he was in his third year of coaching the varsity football team, and he was the defensive coach. He took a fancy to his hard-hitting linebackers. He called them the "Orient Express" and they were led by Glenn Barretto. Under the guidance of Noos the defense held the opposing teams to 132 points total during the twelve-game season. During Hell Week, Noos loved standing on the 8-man sled and tormenting us as we pushed it. I think through his snarls I saw a smile as we grunted. We pushed that sled a lot with Noos barking at us. During the 9th game of the 1984 season we were losing at half-time. They had a stud of a running back and safety. As we went out after half time and kickoff, Noos motioned me over to the sidelines and told me we needed to stop their tailback. I already knew that, I thought, and Noos looked at me and said "stop him." I thought, about that as I went back onto the field. Noos's words rang in my ears. I lined up as a nose guard and zeroed in on the tailback because Noos was watching. I hit the tailback and tackled him in the backfield solo. Facemask to facemask, I incited him with gridiron talk. He reacted to my words and was removed from the game for unsportsmanlike conduct. We went on to win. That is the relationship I had with Noos. I would do anything for him. He was my coach and friend. Sadly, we have lost Noos. RIP, Coach. I can still see you walking back and forth on the sidelines, just like it was yesterday. Thanks for the memories, Noos. You took names.