The surprising news broke Dec. 9.
Longtime Men’s Head Basketball Coach Mark Potter will leave the Newman University sidelines following the completion of the current season.
After 19 years at the helm of the program, the former player and all-time winningest Newman basketball coach will retire. Citing growing health concerns and after council with his family, Potter informed Newman Director of Athletics and Vice President for Student Affairs Vic Trilli of his decision.
“My blood pressure has been out of whack for quite a while from the stress I put on myself,” Potter said. “After 30 years of coaching its finally catching up (with me).”
Since his decision to retire after the season became public, Potter says he has been touched by the response from former players, coaches across the country and the Newman community.
“It’s overwhelming. I’ve been inundated with calls, texts and Facebook messages from not just former players but coaches I know from across the country.”
Potter admits the news came as a surprise to his players, his family and even himself.
“I never once thought this was my last year (coaching at Newman),” he said. “I’m still in shock and a lot more emotional (since making the decision), but it’s also a wake-up call to other opportunities.”
Even though coaching basketball is all that Potter has know for his entire adult life, he is looking for the challenge ahead and he is at peace with the decision.
“I’m 53 years old and I feel a calling to speaking and helping others. I 100 percent believe it’s God’s will (for my life),” Potter said.
Heading into the Heartland Conference portion of the 2016-17 schedule Potter has 324 career victories.
His final home game will be Feb. 25 against Texas A&M International. Trilli indicated that Newman will invite past players and other alumni to the game. He is also planning a reception in honor of Coach Potter the evening before the game in the Tarcisia Roths, ASC Alumni Center.
For more information, read this story about Potter’s retirement decision from Kansas.com.
Below: Video from Coach Mark Potter’s 300th career college basketball victory at Newman University.