Former Old Dominion University baseball coach and key member of the New York Yankees late-1990s dynasty Mark Newman died at the age of 71.
"Mark Newman was a great teacher of the game of baseball, while also developing outstanding young men of impeccable character on and off the field. He had a profound impact on ODU baseball and a number of his ODU players went on to play Major League Baseball such as Terry Bell, Mark Wasinger, and Kevin Bearse," ODU Athletic Director Wood Selig said. "The monumental role coach Newman played in helping to construct the great New York Yankees teams in the late 1990s and early 2000s has been well-documented. The entire Monarch family morns the loss of such a remarkable man."
Newman took over the Old Dominion baseball program in 1981 and for nine years put the Monarchs on the national map. His teams compiled a 321-167-3 record, second only to Bud Metheny's mark.
Newman's teams advanced to four conference finals, captured one league title and advanced to two NCAA regionals. His teams were regularly ranked in the nation's top 25 for five straight seasons from 1983 to 1987.
On March 31, 1986, the Monarchs were 23-4 and ranked seventh in the nation by BASEBALL AMERICA, their highest ranking ever.
In 1985, the Monarchs rolled to a school best 50-11 record and captured the Sun Belt Conference title. Newman's Monarchs reached the ECAC finals in 1981 and 1982. The Monarchs then reached the 1983 Sun Belt finals.
Newman was named Coach of the Year in the Sun Belt Conference and in the state of Virginia in 1985 and 1987. In the nine years he coached the Monarchs, 16 of his players were drafted and 29 signed pro contracts.
Two of his Monarchs were first-round picks, including Terry Bell by Seattle, and Jeff Ware by Toronto.
Bell, Ware, Mark Wasinger, and Kevin Bearse reached the majors. Bearse and Wasinger are members of the Old Dominion University Sports Hall of Fame. Newman was inducted into the hall in 1997.
"We are all saddened by the passing of coach Newman. He is a legend at ODU and also in the game of professional baseball for his outstanding work building some of the great Yankee clubs," current ODU baseball head coach Chris Finwood said. "He was the smartest baseball mind I have ever been around, and I still use many things I learned from him. All of Monarch nation feels his loss greatly."
Newman left Old Dominion after the 1989 season to join the Yankees as director of player development. He was promoted to vice president of player development and later became the senior vice president of baseball operations until 2014.
Newman played a key role in forming the heart of the Yankees' dynasty, including helping to develop Derek Jeter, Andy Pettitte, Jorge Posada, Mariano Rivera and Bernie Williams.