Darel Newman was voted the #l sprinter in the world in 1965-1966 and is one of the few people who defeated Bob Hayes and the great Russian Olympian, Valeri Borzov. Twice, he tied the outdoor 100-yard or 100-meter world records. He set a 60- yard indoor world record. Newman ran five consecutive 9.3s in the 100-meter in 1964. Despite being only 5'9" and 150 pounds, the "Bald Bullet" from Selma bested the powerfully-built Hayes during a 60-yard indoor race in San Diego. Newman had to tie the then-world 100-meter record of 10.1 to best Borzov during the dual U.S. versus Russia meet in Kiev Stadium during the height of the Cold War. It was the first time that Newman ran in a race with electronic timing. It also was the first time an event was seen on American television via satellite. "My mom was able to watch me run, but she had to get up at 3:00 a.m. to see the race." Newman said.
Newman tied the 100-yard world record of 9.2 while running for Fresno State in the 1964 Fresno West Coast Relays. The same year, he set the indoor world record of 5.9 for 60 yards in the San Francisco Cow Palace, won both the NCAA Division I and Division II 100 races and the NCAA Indoors 60. He said he can't recall ever losing an indoor race. Newman gained his nickname as a result of losing his hair after contracting Valley Fever while still at Selma High School. Newman recalled that his first sprint medal came in the elementary school division of the West Coast Relays. As a freshman at Selma High, he won the Class CICF section 75 and 120-yard sprints. In his senior year, Newman clocked 9.7 for the 100. Reedley College coach Bob Lehman recruited.
Newman rewarded the Tigers With back-to-back conference, Northern California division, and state victories in the 100. He lowered his best time to 9.5 which resulted in a number of scholarship offers. Newman liked Fresno State coach Dutch Warmerdam's low-key approach and decided to stay home. He concentrated on the 100. "I only ran the 200 or 220 occasionally, mainly to pick up points in a dual meet,"stated Newman from his Bakersfield home. "I liked the indoor meets because with my start, 60 yards was a breeze. I remember the problem for Sam Workman and myself was finding a place to practice for the indoor events. We couldn't use spikes on the North Gym floor because that was where the basketball team played and practiced. Coach Red Estes made us some shoes with rubber soles and they worked pretty good."
Estes was chosen by Warmerdam to be his assistant the same year that Newman was a senior. "Darel had an explosive start, so the shorter the race, the better," Estes said. "He beat the best. He was a real competitor. He was the anchor for our sprint relay team and it was an excellent team [Sam Workman, Sid Nickolous and Marv Bryant]." Newman said he did have a good start when he came to Fresno State, but he and the coaches made a science of becoming better. They studied his start from every angle. "When I was in Russia, the Russian coaches and sprinters really studied my start. So when Borzov won the Olympic gold, he had copied my start almost perfectly," Newman said. In the 1964 Olympic trials, Newman finished third. "Today, that would have put me on the team, but at that time only the top two were chosen. Now, the first four are put on the team for the sprint relays and the second four are able to form a back-up relay team. Not making the Olympics is about the only regret I have. I did set a Master's 60-yard indoor world record of 6.5 in the over-forty division. If it hadn't been for my disease, I probably would still be running." For thirty-two years, Newman coached and taught at Santa Ana High School and became director of the Santa Ana Relays, the oldest high school meet in the state. "Dutch was a real good coach. He had a lot of confidence in me and when he told me I would win, I knew I would."