John Newell is in his fourth season at Tennessee as the assistant coach of throwing events.
In 2016, Newell coached Cassie Wertman to three Shot Put wins during the outdoor season as well as a SEC Silver medal and second team All-America honors. During the indoor season, Wertman took second place at the SEC Championship and at the NCAA Indoor Championship. Cameron Brown won the SEC Indoor Championship in the weight throw before a third place finish at the NCAA Championship. Matthew Zajac finished in the top five of the discus throw in five straight meets during the outdoor year.
Newell has worked with Tavis Bailey since Bailey graduated from Tennessee in 2015 and went with the discus thrower to the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Newell had a big season in 2015, as his athletes produced one SEC individual title, a national runner-up finish, six total All-American honors. During the 2015 indoor season, junior Cameron Brown had a season for the record books. Not only did he become Tennessee's second-ever SEC champion in the weight throw, he also set a new program record in the event with a throw of 76 feet, 8.5 inches (23.38). He went on to earn honorable mention All-America accolades. Also turning in strong indoor seasons were Tavis Bailey, who finished second at the SEC meet in the men's weight throw, and Cassie Wertman, who earned SEC bronze in the women's shot put. Both athletes would go on to snare All-America honors at the NCAA Indoor Championships.
During the outdoor season, Bailey navigated his way back to the NCAA Championships in the men's discus where he finished as the national runner-up. Bailey was also a qualifier in the men's shot put, becoming a two-time outdoor All-American in 2014. Meanwhile, Maria Jimenez represented Tennessee at the NCAA Championships in the women's javelin. She was the first women's NCAA qualifier in the event since 2001. She was an honorable mention All-American.
Newell had served the last six seasons as an assistant coach for the track and field program at Michigan State. In his time with the Spartans, Newell had 24 NCAA championship qualifiers, 18 All-America honors and 46 regional event qualifiers. His athletes won nine Big Ten championships and recorded eight school records.
Newell's throwers enjoyed considerable individual success this past season. At the 2013 NCAA Indoor Championships, Beth Rohl took second in the women's weight throw, and Antonio James pulled off the same feat on the men's side. At the outdoor meet, Rohl placed third in discus. The year before, Rohl also made the discus finals at the U.S. Olympic Trials.
In 2011, Newell was named the Great Lakes Region Women's Assistant Coach of the Year.
Newell started his college career in his home town at Sacramento City College, where he was a USA Junior Team member in 2001 and the school's athlete of the year in 2002. He moved on to the Georgia, where he was a six-time NCAA qualifier and earned All-America honors in the shot put at the 2005 national indoor meet.
He graduated from UGA in 2005 with a degree in sociology.
Following his college career, Newell continued training in the hammer throw at Ashland University under the watch of four-time Olympian Jud Logan. While there, he realized he wanted to join the coaching ranks himself. He joined the Michigan State staff in 2007.