NEWTON, Iowa — Longtime Newton football coach John Jenkins passed away after a 12-year battle with dementia.
John Jenkins was Newton’s coach for 17 years and led the team to multiple playoff appearances, including two state championship appearances in 1988 and 1990.
The school honored his legacy by naming the locker room at Newton’s field after him. John Jenkins’ legacy can also be seen in two of his sons.
Jake Jenkins is the coach at Oskaloosa. James Jenkins is an assistant coach at Newton. Jake Jenkins said he grew up wanting to be a coach just like his father.
“He’s my idol. He’s the guy I looked up to more than any person in the world,” said Jake Jenkins. “The thing that keeps me going is knowing how good of a person he was and is and the lessons that were taught that I need to teach to other people, too.”