Hall of Famer Ron Newman, Kansas City's first coach, passes away at age 82

Ron Newman - first coach of Kansas City Wizards - THUMB ONLY

Ron Newman, a luminary of the old NASL and indoor soccer eras and the first coach in Sporting Kansas City’s history, passed away in Florida on Monday at the age of 82.

An Englishman who moved Stateside to play – and at times serve as a player/coach – for the Atlanta Chiefs, Dallas Tornado and Ft. Lauderdale Strikers starting in the late 1960s before transitioning into coaching full-time, Newman turned heads in the 1980s when he led the San Diego Sockers to 10 indoor league championships over an 11-year period in the NASL and MISL.

He was inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 1992, but continued his career as Major League Soccer was born, in 1995 becoming the first coach hired by the league.

He led the Kansas City Wiz (later renamed the Wizards and now Sporting KC) over their first three seasons of existence, including a first-place regular-season finish in the Western Conference in 1997.