BENNINGTON, Vt. – Southern Vermont College Athletics is pleased to announce the hiring of four head coaches in the department, giving a new look to the Mountaineer Athletics program for the 2013-14 seasons: Kathleen Newton (men’s & women’s cross country), Deon Jones (men’s & women’s volleyball), Jamie Hutchins (men’s soccer), and Alyssa Davis (softball).
“We are very excited to have these four new coaches join our staff with expertise and experience, national presence and valuable local connections,” said SVC Director of Athletics Michael McDonough. “There has been a positive response from our student-athletes and a very real sense of continuity. We look forward to a very successful year.”
Coming back to Southern Vermont College to head the cross country teams is Kathleen Newton, a 2004 graduate and standout runner for the Mountaineers. Newton returns to SVC after assisting the Williams College cross country teams for eight years in conjunction with coaching the local Mount Anthony Union High School (MAUHS) indoor and outdoor track & field teams; Newton will continue to coach at MAUHS while also heading the Mountaineers. This past fall, she was named the Vermont Indoor Track Coach of the Year, the second consecutive year in which she has received the award; she was also given the accolade in 2003.
“I am very pleased and honored to be back at Southern Vermont College to coach the women's and men's cross country teams,” commented Newton. “I enjoyed my athletic and academic experiences at SVC, and as the head coach of the men's and women's teams, I hope to provide the same excitement and positive experience I had while a student-athlete here. My vision is to create an atmosphere where the athletes feel athletically, academically and emotionally supported.”
Newton, a recipient of an Associate in Science degree, still holds the Southern Vermont records for 5K and 6K races; she ran a 20:07 5K in 2002 at the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Championship and a 24:09 6K in the 2002 NCAA New England Regional Championship. Newton ran for SVC’s former head coach Scott Kilgallon, being named to the All-GNAC Team twice with a third-place finish at the conference championship in 2003 and a fourth-place finish in 2002. She accomplished these feats all while not only taking a full course load, but also raising a family.
Newton fills the void left by Maria Stuber who is now the Director of Nordic Skiing for the Aspen Valley Ski & Snowboard Club.
Deon Jones comes to SVC from the Southern California area where he served as the director and coach of the Club Wood Volleyball Club since January of 2002. This past year, he was also an assistant at East Los Angeles College.
“It feels great to start coaching for SVC,” said Jones. “I am looking forward to the new experience, and I can't wait to continue making Bennington and Southern Vermont a volleyball powerhouse.”
Bringing to Southern Vermont a background in education, Jones will look to maintain the success both programs have had on and off the court. He has worked in the physical education departments at Mayfield Senior School in Pasadena, Calif. and Bishop Mora Salesian High School in Los Angeles. Jones was a three-time California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) champion as Salesian, and more recently, he was the coach on back-to-back CIF champion teams in 2012 and 2013 at Cathedral High School.
Replacing Josh Stokes who has taken the head women’s post at SUNY Potsdam, Jones inherits a women’s program that will be looking to capture its third-straight New England Collegiate Conference title and a men’s team that has its sights on getting back to the NECC postseason for the fourth year in a row. The women begin regular season play August 30 when the Mountaineers host Norwich University for a 6 p.m. match.
Jamie Hutchins brings to the Mountaineers a slew of soccer experience from various levels of play, both as a coach and a player. In his most recent post as the general manager of the newly established Bennington Sports Center, Hutchins oversaw all aspects of facility management including programming sales, maintenance and scheduling.
“I’m excited by this opportunity at SVC,” said Hutchins. “It seems to be a jewel of an institution in southern Vermont, and I look forward to working with our athletes and help them reach their athletic potential.”
For the last four years, Hutchins served as the head coach at Vermont Technical College. He successfully implemented the program’s goal for recruiting, propelling the team and school forward. Hutchins, a 1983 graduate from the University of Colorado Boulder with a bachelor’s degree in Geography, served as an assistant at Middlebury College where he also played for three years, being selected as a First Team All-American in 1981. Prior to coaching at MC, Hutchins was a player in the Major Indoor Soccer League, and he has also trained with the reserves of Patrick Thistle in Glasgow, Scotland.
Hutchins replaces Tim Penrod who has since joined SUNY Canton after heading the Mountaineers for six seasons. The men’s soccer team begins regular season play on August 30 when it visits McDaniel College for a 4 p.m. kickoff in the Stevenson University/McDaniel College Tournament.
Alyssa Davis is also a SVC alum, graduating in 2012 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration/Sports Management. This past season, she helped Leanne Baker as an assistant coach for the Mountaineer softball program, a team for which she played during her collegiate tenure. Davis holds many of the team’s records including career on-base percentage (.487), hits in a season (55 in 2012), and career runs batted in (75).
“This is a great honor to be the new head coach for SVC,” said Davis. “Being a part of the program for five years now, I have watched it develop and make huge strides over that span. I am excited to take over and see this growth continue, as well as see these student-athletes continue to succeed.”
A 2007 recipient of the Dell Scholarship, Davis utilized her Sports Management course requirements to gain additional experience as an intern with the sports information office, the athletic training office, and as a coaching intern. She was also a four-year member of the SVC women’s basketball team for which she also owns records including career three-pointers (138).
Davis replaces Baker who has recently taken the head position at Mercyhurst College, a Division II member of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference.