June 17, 2023

By Fred Liggett

When the 2023-24 basketball season tips off the St. Michael’s Guardians will have someone new calling the shots for the boys basketball program. St. Michael’s has named Ronald Newton as new boys basketball coach of the Guardians succeeding Mark Scanlon who held the post for the past six years.

Newton is an Overland Park, KS native and graduated from Shawnee Mission South in 2008. Following his stint as a SM South Raider he continued his playing career at Fort Scott Community College.

Newton found the SMA job attractive saying he “wanted an opportunity to coach young guys and liked the culture of the school.” Newton previously spent a year at Maranatha Academy. Newton decided to take a year off but has spent the past 10 years coaching area talent in Mo-Kan Elite. The conference the Guardians compete in will be familiar with Coach Newton as he also served for a time as varsity assistant at Van Horn under Coach Max Sollars.

The type of team he will have at SMA, Newton says, “We are going to move the ball, show we are one team.” Newton has seen this summer the team “defensively have taken big steps.”

Reaction to the news has been very good as Newton describes SMA reaction been very positive from “fellow staff at SMA and been welcomed by parents.” Local high school coaches have also reached out since the hire was announced on May 30. Coaches Newton used to assist such as Max Sollars at Van Horn and George Goode at Barstow. Van Horn Athletic Director Chris Corrie is also on the list of past associates who offered Newton congratulations on the new job.

Coach Newton inherits a team that finished the 2022-23 season with a 16-11 record and advanced in the post-season to the Class 3 District 14 semi-finals.