R.J. Allen came to Newman as the assistant men's basketball coach in 2011. When he was named the new head men's basketball coach in April 2017, he had one thing on his mind — continuing the great work former Coach Mark Potter had been doing.
“One of the things I want to make sure we continue to do," said Allen, "is instill integrity, honor and character in the young men we coach.”
Allen said he looks forward to being a role model and leader for his team and helping them develop personally.
His efforts are already paying off.
During a Heartland Conference Banquet Wednesday, Feb. 28, Allen was named "Heartland's Men's Coach of the Year."
Adding to the night's exciting news, three Newman Jets were also honored. Junior Hannah Alexander earned a first-team honor for the second year in a row, junior Kevin Bryant received a spot on the all-conference second team and junior Dametrius Walker received honorable mention honors.
The men finished their regular season resting at third place in the conference standings after a year of exciting games and some tough injuries. Their exhibition charity game against Wichita State University was a highlight for some.
The women will go into the Heartland Conference tournament as the no. 4 seed.
Both the men and women basketball teams are set to play in the quarterfinals beginning Friday, March 2 at the Union Multipurpose Activity Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The women will be up against Oklahoma Christian at 2:30 p.m. and the men will face St. Edwards in a 5 p.m. game.