Ron Newman, who found success at both ends of the soccer spectrum in the indoor and outdoor game, passed away Monday morning in Florida.
He was 82.
Newman accrued many accolades during his career, including being inducted into the U.S. Soccer Hall of Fame in 1992. The Major Arena Soccer League has honored Newman as its championship game is named after him, the Ron Newman Cup.
After coming over from his native England from his native England, Newman coached the Dallas Tornado, guiding the team to the 1971 championship in the original North American Soccer League. He also led the Los Angeles Skyhawks to the 1976 American Soccer League crown.
He eventually found great success, directing the fortunes of the San Diego Sockers in the NASL and in the Major Indoor Soccer League as the club captured 10 indoor titles.
Newman found his way back to the outdoor game as he was Sporting Kansas City’s first coach in 1996, when the team was known as the Kansas City Wiz and eventually the Wizards.
“The Major Arena Soccer League is saddened to hear of the passing of Ron Newman,” a statement from the MASL read. “Mr. Newman was one of the most successful coaches in the history of the arena game, winning 10 championships in 11 seasons. More than that, he was an innovator and ambassador for the game.
“Ron Newman’s impact on the game of soccer in the United States can be felt not only in arena soccer, but across the game as a whole. Our Championship Trophy bears his name because he embodied a true champion. Our thoughts and prayers of the staff and players across the league are with the Newman family today.”
The Sockers put out a statement on Newman’s passing:
“The San Diego Sockers family are deeply saddened by the loss of Ron Newman, a legendary figure both on and off the soccer field, and remembered specifically as the most successful and innovative head coach in indoor soccer history. The Sockers offer heartfelt condolences to the Newman family.”
Added Sockers general manager Sean Bowers: “We have lost someone who had a major impact on the sport of soccer, both indoors and outdoors, in the United States. I had the honor to play for him in San Diego and Kansas City [MLS]. He was a tremendous leader and knew how to get the best from his players. The roots and growth of indoor soccer in San Diego and throughout the country are embedded with his name, and so is our franchise.”
Sockers head coach Phil Salvagio added, “He meant so much to me, professionally, personally, and to the organization. There will never be another coach like him. He will forever be part of our storied history.”
More details coming.