|Mike Newell celebrates UALR's|
victory over Notre Dame in
the 1986 NCAA Tournament.
"It's certainly an honor, and I think it's something that affects the players that played for me for six years and the assistant coaches that helped build the program," Newell said. It's really a tribute to a lot of people who helped build the program over the six years that I was there."
Newell is UALR's all-time winningest coach with 133 victories. He led the Trojans to five consecutive 20-victory seasons starting in 1985-1986. That also included five consecutive postseason appearances. UALR went to the NCAA Tournament in 1986, 1989 and 1990 and the National Invitation Tournament in 1987 and 1988.
"The thing I most enjoyed was the people -- the people who supported us, because we were basically selling a dream," Newell said. "I am very thankful to all those people that came out and bought into the dream and the fun and cheered our players on, because that's what you have to have."
Newell and the 1985-1986 Trojans were also the subject of Arkansas' NCAA Team: The Story of the 1985-1986 UALR Trojans and the Big Dance's First Cinderella. That book was published in 1986 to mark the 20th anniversary of UALR's 90-83 victory over Notre Dame on March 14, 1986.
Newell resigned under some pressure after leading UALR to the NCAA Tournament in 1990. He went to Lamar University. He last coached at Arkansas-Monticello before resigning after the 2010 season.