COLCHESTER, Vt. - After 18 years as the Saint Michael's College softball head coach, Robyn Newton announced her retirement on Thursday with the close of the 2018 season.
"I am so proud to have coached this softball program for the past 18 years," said Newton. "Each and every team was special no matter the win-loss record. I have witnessed some amazing athletes over my tenure here, but most importantly I am proud of the family we have built together. When I first started coaching, our motto was 'Simply the Best,' and when I hear from alumni, that is always said. No matter what year you graduated, you feel part of this Saint Michael's softball family and know that we are all here for one another."
Newton's tenure covered nearly half of the program's 37-year history, as her teams have been responsible for nearly three quarters of its all-time wins, including 93.2 percent of all NE10 triumphs. She is one of seven head coaches to ever guide a program at the College for at least 18 seasons, and among three women.
"Robyn has been the face of our softball program since the turn of the 21st century, and a mentor for a generation of our student-athletes," said Director of Athletics Chris Kenny '86. "We deeply appreciate her selfless dedication to those who played for her, and her longstanding commitment to holistic student development."
Newton inherited a Saint Michael's program that had totaled nine NE10 victories in its first 11 years in the league before her 2001 charges promptly won six league outings. The Purple Knights reached unprecedented heights of success between 2004 and 2007, going 90-71 overall and 59-52 in the NE10, recording the four highest win totals in school annals and making their NE10 Championship debut in 2005. After taking down top seed and host Le Moyne College for its second win in as many games, the Purple and Gold lost a pair of one-run affairs in the semifinal round.
"I have been so blessed to see alumni get married, have children and become amazing women in their chosen fields," said Newton. "This bond is what I will miss the most. I love this sport and will miss getting dirty out on the field, but it's the relationships and traditions that we have all built together that I am committed to keeping alive. I was overwhelmed and so thankful to all the alumni, parents and families that reached out to me my final week of games, and to the many who came out this season to support Saint Michael's softball. It has been an amazing journey being able to touch so many lives, and to build this wonderful family. I am so grateful I had this opportunity to lead 18 wonderful softball teams at Saint Michael's, and want to thank everyone I have worked with for their support. Saint Michael's softball is 'Simply the Best!'"
Saint Michael's missed the postseason by a single game in 2017, finishing 11-11 in the league, before remaining in contention until the final week this spring. Newton, who was named 2004 NE10 Coach of the Year, saw her Purple Knights earn seven major regional and conference awards, three all-region honors and 27 NE10 All-Conference accolades in her tenure. Softball student-athletes have also excelled in the classroom, being named College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-District twice and NE10 Academic All-Conference on 16 occasions.
A national search for Newton's successor will begin immediately.