NORMAL - Steve Newman will remain in an official capacity at Big Ten Conference football games this fall. The Normal resident will just have a different vantage point.
After 13 years as a Big Ten official, Newman is moving to the press box as a technical advisor and replay official. Two arthritic knees forced the 59-year-old Newman from the field, where he headed his crew as the referee.
"I did the Illinois Spring Game (in April), and I was not able to move about like I should be. Plus, it hurt," Newman said. "It's kind of like going from playing to coaching. You'll still in the game, and that's important to me."
Newman will be at a Big Ten venue each week, serving as the replay official and also reviewing game tape, evaluating officials and instructing/coaching them.
"It's still an involved process," he said. "I think the college game is a tremendous game. If I can help make it better, then this is a great opportunity."
Newman worked three Holiday Bowls, and the Cotton Bowl and Peach Bowl once each. He was a Gateway Conference official for eight seasons before joining the Big Ten in 1994.
Big Ten Supervisor of Officials David Parry said Newman will be missed on the field.
"He's dedicated, he's committed, and perhaps one of the best virtues of Steve is the fact the men on his crew always spoke so highly of him," Parry said. "He is very popular and well-liked. He stood tall with his peers.
"You just knew when you put Steve out there you would get 100 percent from him as well as his crew. The preparation and dedication would be what you wanted."
Parry expects Newman to do well in his new role, particularly in regard to working with officials.
"He will be well-accepted by the men. They know Steve is sincere and honest and forthright," Parry said. "If he says something, they'll know he believes it and that it's accurate and the truth."
Newman credited Bloomington doctors Anthony Dustman and Brad Cole for prolonging his time on the field, saying, "They kept me going probably three years I shouldn't have been working. They did a great job of keeping me on the field with medication and exercise."
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