DJ Newman named new Chippewa Hills girls hoops coach

REMUS — Chippewa Hills coach DJ Newman has added another sport to his list of duties.

He’s been serving as the Warrior softball coach and will be the girls varsity basketball skipper. He replaces CJ Blaha who took a coaching position at another school district.

Newman, the owner of Grand Slam Investigations, has been softball coach for the past three years at Chippewa Hills and was the varsity assistant softball coach for four years.

The Warriors have been back-to-back district champs in softball the past two seasons.

He was involved as the varsity assistant girls coach and the JV girls basketball coach from 2007-2017.

‘Having some success in softball, I was approached by some of our softball players about putting in my name this past summer,” Newman said. “I had previously coached them during their JV years. The reasons I decided to take the position was being approached by the players themselves to lead them and also wanting some stability in the program for when my own daughter gets there in a few years.

“I think I have a style that allows me to teach the girls what they need to know on the court as well as push their buttons to make them want more out of themselves and their teammates.  The girls that I have coached no that I am going to praise them for doing something right and teach them when they make a mistake, so that it won’t hopefully happen again.”

The season starts on Dec. 4 at home with Farwell.

“I am taking over a team that won just three games last year,” Newman said. “So there really is no where to go but up. The toughest thing that I will face the first year is getting our youth parents and athletes to start playing basketball. With our district being as spread out as it is, it isn’t as easy to do as other local districts. As far as the varsity team goes, it will be making them believe that they can compete and win the close games.

“As far as strength of the program, we have a lot of seniors this year that were competitive as sophomores on the JV. I expect them to be just as competitive this year.  How fast they can grasp the concepts that we are implementing will be an indication as to what type of record we will have.”


Posted by John Raffel

John is a sports reporter with the Pioneer as well as the Herald Review and The Lake County Star. He also coordinates the weekly Pioneer sports outdoors page. He can be reached at (231) 592-8356 or by email at

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