During his time as an assistant coach at the University of Nevada, UAFS men’s basketball coach Josh Newman was a part of a history-making run that saw the Wolfpack reach its first-ever NCAA Sweet 16 during the 2003-04 season.
That team and its coaches will be a part of the 2016 Nevada Athletics Hall of Fame Class, which was announced Thursday by the Nevada Athletics Department.
“It’s an honor to be recognized with this great team and extraordinary group of guys,” said Newman, who was an assistant coach at Nevada for three years before becoming UAFS head coach.
The 2003-04 Wolfpack team beat No. 25 Michigan State in the first round of the national tournament and then upset No. 2 Gonzaga in the second round before losing to eventual national runner-up No. 14 Georgia Tech in the Sweet 16. It finished 25-9 overall and 15-0 at home, won Nevada’s first Western Athletic Conference regular-season title and won the WAC Tournament title.
It was the first 20-win season for the program since 1997 and its first NCAA appearance since 1985, and it started Nevada’s string of five consecutive WAC titles and four consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances.
That season, Newman was a part of a coaching staff that included head coach Trent Johnson, associate head coach Mark Fox, assistant coach David Carter and student assistant coach Matt Ochs. The player roster included Chad Bell (redshirt), Nick Fazekas, Garry Hill-Thomas, Marcelus Kemp, Curry Lynch, Todd Okeson, Sean Paul, Kevinn Pinkney, Kyle Shiloh, Kirk Snyder, Seth Taylor and Jermaine Washington.
Snyder was the WAC Player of the Year, WAC Joe Kearney Award Winner (top student-athlete any sport) and a first-team All-WAC selection. Hill-Thomas was named to the WAC All-Defensive Team, and Snyder and Okeson were named to the WAC All-Tournament Team.
“I’m looking forward to the ceremony but, more importantly, the opportunity to catch up and visit with the guys,” Newman said. “A lot has changed in all our lives, and it will be great to see everyone and spend the weekend reminiscing about the 2003-04 season.”
The Hall of Fame dinner and induction ceremony will be on Friday, Sept. 16, at 6 p.m. at the Reno Ballroom.
It will be the second Hall of Fame honor for Newman. A graduate of Chino Valley (Ariz.) High School, Newman was inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame last September as a member of the 1990-91 and 1991-92 soccer teams.