To many, being diverse is being able to do a couple different things well. If you use that as a criterion, you might have to create another word to describe the extremely diverse Newton Chelette.
Chelette, the winningest basketball coach in Antelope Valley College Marauder Basketball history and Athletic Director for the last nine years, comes as close to the definition of coaching and athletic management diversity as possible.
As a coach, Chelette has won and set records at every level he coached.
In the summer of 2005, Chelette was named as the Dean of Kinesiology, Athletics and Dance, and in 2011 was named the interim Vice President of Student Services with Atheltic Director duties as well.
After one year, Chelette returned to the Dean/Athletic Director position
Begining in 2013, Chelette spearheaded Marauder Basketball's involvement in Coaches vs. Cancer, a fundraising effort benefiting the American Cancer Society. For the last three years the Marauders have raised at least $10,000 each year, and over $40,000 in that three year span, the highest amount for community colleges in California.
In the years since becoming the AD, Chelette oversaw a complete revamp of Marauder Gym, including new stands, court chairs and media tables. He also has pushed forward the marketing effort of Marauder Athletics, and has strengthened ties with many community leaders and businesses -- efforts which have spilled over to help improve other areas on the campus as well. He was co-chairman of the committee for the passage of Measure R, a bond issue that will allow AVC to significantly improve the campus.
Fruits of his efforts are currently evident on the west side of the campus as the Marauders’ first athletic complex sits proudly.
Included in the complex is the new Brent Carder Marauder Stadium which includes artificial turf, a new track, equal seating on the home and visitor side and new media facility. The area to the west of Marauder Stadium, once open desert, has been converted to soccer fields for AVC practice as well as community use. The baseball stadium is capable of seating 300 fans, has a media facility and a new concessions stand located at the northwest end of Marauder Stadium. The softball field has a FieldTurf outfield a media facility and concessions stands.
Marauder Stadium was the site of the 2010 State Track and Field Championship, AVC’s first multi-day state championship hosting duties.
In the 2006-07 school year, Marauder Athletics finished in a tie for 29th in the Pepsi/National Alliance of Two Year College Athletic Administrators Cup, AVC's best finish ever. Marauder Athletics beat out all of their Foothill Conference opponents, and were second for programs with 15 or fewer sports.
He is currently the Chair of the Management Council for the California Community College Athletics Association, which means he is also a voting member of the Executive Committee. Additionally, he is President of the Pacific Division of the American Football Conference. He is Past President of the Foothill Conference and the California Community College Athletic Director Association.
In the community, Chelette was named as the 2014 Lancaster Citizen of the Year.
He is on the Board of Directors for the Antelope Valley Boys and Girls Club as well as the Los Angeles County Sheriff League. In 2011 he was named director of the year by the LACSL.
He has also been named to the Criminal Justice Commission for the City of Lancaster by the mayor R. Rex Paris.
Before giving up the basketball reigns in 2006, Chelette, led the Marauders to the state championship final four for the first time since 1956 in 2004
At AVC, Chelette brought ten conference titles in 17 seasons, and has been named coach of the year seven years, including four straight. He coached seven straight conference players of the year, and his Marauder teams have competed in the playoffs 16 straight seasons and hosted playoff games in 13 of those 16 years. In 1995-96, 1996-97, and 1998-99 Chelette’s teams were undefeated in conference play, the only Marauder teams to achieve perfection in conference.
In the 2000-01 season, he became the winningest coach in Marauder basketball history, recording his 272th win against Rio Hondo, and moving past the man he replaced, Bob Murray.
In 2008, he was inducted into the California Community College Men’s Basketball Coaches Association’s Hall of Fame, and March 14, 2008 was proclaimed as “Newton Chelette Day” by his hometown of Iowa, LA.
In 1996-97, the Marauders set the school record for wins in a season, were ranked second in the state and won the third straight conference title.
In 1984, Chelette became the youngest Division I head basketball coach in America and that season led Southeastern Louisiana University to its only Division I conference championship.
In 2001, he was inducted into the High Desert Men’s Basketball Coaches Association’s Hall of Fame Coaches Division and he served as President of the California Community College Men’s Basketball Coaches Association in 2002 and 2003.
With a .610 winning percentage overall as a head coach, Chelette has coached on three of the four levels of competitive basketball coaching. Not only has he coached at the high school, community college and collegiate level, his teams have won conference championships, and he has won coach of the year honors at all three levels.
Chelette recruited Joe Dumars (Detroit Pistons) to play at McNeese State while he was an assistant coach there, and coached JR Rider (Minnesota Timberwolves) for a season at AVC.
Chelette received his bachelor’s degree in business education from McNeese State University in 1973. While an undergraduate, Chelette played four seasons as point guard for the basketball team, and competed in the college rodeo finals. In 1968, he was sixth in the nation in the cutting horse and 11th in calf roping. He then received his master’s of education in physical education from McNeese in 1978.
Chelette graduated from Iowa High School, where he lettered in football, basketball, baseball and track.
He is a Div. I basketball referee working the Big West, Mountain West and Western Athletic Conferences. He has worked several NIT and Bracket Buster games as well as the Big West Conference Tournament.
Born in Lake Charles, LA, Chelette has three children, Amanda, Brady, who played for the Marauders in 1999-2001, and Kelly. He is engaged to Lana Thomas.