Joe Newton is without question the most successful high school cross country coach in the United States. He started his scholastic coaching career in 1954 in Waterman, Illinois, before moving on three years later to York High School in Elmhurst, Illinois, where he's been ever since. In his 48 years at York, Newton has built a running dynasty. His boys' cross country teams have won an unprecedented 19 national championships, 24 state championships, and 114 conference titles. They have also won an impressive 98% of their home meets.
Newton's coaching accomplishments have earned him a long list of awards and honors. He was named National High School Cross Country Coach of the Year by the National High School Coaches Association in 1975 and by the National Federation of High School Administrators in 1994. In addition, he has been named High School Cross Country Coach of the Year 16 times by the Northern Illinois Track Coaches Association and 15 times by the Illinois High School Coaches Association. In 1988, Newton was chosen as one of the coaches of the U.S. men's track and field Olympic team in Seoul, South Korea. He was the first high school coach to ever receive this honor.
Known as a master motivator, Newton is a frequent guest speaker at corporate meetings and social gathering around the United States. He has delivered his message of teamwork, commitment, and discipline more than 5,000 times. He has also put his philosophy of coaching and life into print in his three books: Running to the Top of the Mountain, The Long Green Line, and Motivation: The Name of the Game.
Coach Newton lives in Naperville, Illinois, with his wife Joan. When he's not winning cross country meets, he enjoys reading, working out, and touring the Old West.
Joe Henderson has been writing about running for more than 30 years. He's not only the West Coast editor and a featured columnist for Runner's World magazine but also the author of more than a dozen books on running, including Better Runs, Long-Run Solution, Fitness Running, and Jog, Run, Race. In addition, he writes and produces a monthly newsletter called Running Commentary and is an adjunct assistant professor of journalism at the University of Oregon. Henderson lives in Eugene, Oregon.