Don Newman (basketball)

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Don Newman
Don Newman in 2013.jpg
Newman with Washington Wizards in 2013
Personal information
Born(1957-11-22)November 22, 1957
New Orleans, Louisiana
DiedSeptember 11, 2018(2018-09-11) (aged 60)
New Orleans, Louisiana
Listed height6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Career information
High schoolBrother Martin
(New Orleans, Louisiana)
NBA draft1980 / Round: 3 / Pick: 69th overall
Selected by the Boston Celtics
Playing career1980–1983
Coaching career1986–2016
Career history
As player:
1980–1983Montana Golden Nuggets
As coach:
1986–1987Moscow HS (sophomores)
1987–1992Washington State (assistant)
1992–1997Sacramento State
1997–1998Arizona State
19992003Milwaukee Bucks (assistant)
2003–2004New Jersey Nets (assistant)
20042012San Antonio Spurs (assistant)
20122016Washington Wizards (assistant)
Career highlights and awards
As assistant coach:

Donald David Newman (November 22, 1957 – September 11, 2018) was an American professional athlete in basketball and Canadian football. Following his playing career, he was the head basketball coach at Arizona State for the 1997–98 season, and Sacramento State from 1992 to 1997.[1] He also was an assistant coach in the NBA with the New Jersey Nets, San Antonio Spurs, and Washington Wizards.

Early life[edit]

Born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana,[2] Newman was a multi-sport athlete at its Brother Martin High School and graduated in 1975.[3] In his junior year, he was a teammate of Rick Robey on the Crusaders' state championship basketball team.[3]

College career[edit]

Newman attended Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge as a freshman in the 1975–76 season and played on the LSU Tigers basketball team. After the year, he transferred to Lake City Community College and Grambling State University and then in fall 1977 to the University of Idaho in Moscow.[4][5][6] Newman did not play at Grambling and played only one game with Lake City.[4]

After sitting out a year due to transfer rules, Newman played for the Idaho Vandals from 1978 to 1980 under new head coach Don Monson.[4][5][7] Following five consecutive years in the Big Sky cellar, Idaho rose to second place in the conference standings in Newman's senior season and qualified for the four-team conference tournament for the first time;[8][9] he was a unanimous first team all-conference selection.[10][11][12] Prior to his senior year, Newman was selected in fourth round of the 1979 NBA draft by the Indiana Pacers;[4] then was taken in the third round in 1980 by the Boston Celtics.[13] Veteran guard Nate Archibald was a holdout during training camp, but after he agreed to terms in October,[14] Boston head coach Bill Fitch cut Newman two days before their first regular season game;[15][16][17] the Celtics went on to win the NBA title that season.

Newman also played center field for the Vandal baseball team in 1979,[4][18] and was inducted into the UI athletics hall of fame in 2018.[19][20]

Football career[edit]

Don Newman
Career information
CFL statusInternational
Position(s)Wide receiver
Height6 ft 3 in (191 cm)
Weight205 lb (93 kg)
High schoolBrother Martin
(New Orleans, Louisiana)
Career history
As player
1981Seattle Seahawks*
1981–1983Saskatchewan Roughriders
1984Montreal Concordes
1985New York Jets*
1985Ottawa Rough Riders
1986Hamilton Tiger-Cats
*Offseason and/or practice squad only

Although he had not played high school or college football, Newman tried out for the Seattle Seahawks as a cornerback in 1981.[17][21] He played in the Canadian Football League with the Saskatchewan Roughriders (1981–1983),[22] Montreal Concordes (1984), Ottawa Rough Riders (1985), and Hamilton Tiger-Cats (1986) as a wide receiver.[23][24]

While playing pro football, Newman also played pro basketball for three seasons in the Continental Basketball Association (CBA) with the Montana Golden Nuggets (in Great Falls), with George Karl as head coach.[25]

Coaching career[edit]

High school[edit]

Returning to northern Idaho in 1985, Newman was an assistant football coach at Lewiston High School for a season, then an assistant football coach and sophomore basketball coach at Moscow High School;[26][27] he also worked as shoe department manager at a local store while coaching high school sports.[26][28] Newman completed his bachelor's degree in physical education from the University of Idaho in 1987.[29]


From 1987 to 1992, Newman was an assistant coach at neighboring Washington State in Pullman under Kelvin Sampson,[24] and earned his master's degree in education from WSU in 1989.[29][30] The Cougars made the NIT in his final year as an assistant there.[31]

From 1992 to 1997, Newman was head coach of Sacramento State. In five seasons with a Hornets program that was transitioning from Division II to Division I, he had a 20–114 (.149) record.[32] He then became an assistant at Arizona State in Tempe, and was appointed the head coach in September 1997 following the resignation of Bill Frieder.[29][33][34] In his only season at ASU, Newman had an 18–14 record, concluded with a first-round loss in the NIT.[35]


In 1999, Newman became an assistant coach for the Milwaukee Bucks under George Karl, and moved to the New Jersey Nets in 2003.[36] In 2004, Newman joined Gregg Popovich's staff at the San Antonio Spurs.[37] After eight seasons with the Spurs that included two NBA titles in 2005 and 2007, he joined Randy Wittman's staff at the Washington Wizards in 2012.[38]


After a long battle with brain cancer, Newman died at age 60 at his New Orleans home on September 11, 2018.[3][39][40][41]

Head coaching record[edit]

Don Newman coaching record:[31]

Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Sacramento State Hornets (NCAA Division I independent) (1992–1994)
1992–93 Sacramento State 3–24
1993–94 Sacramento State 1–26
Sacramento State Hornets (American West Conference) (1994–1996)
1994–95 Sacramento State 6–21 2–4 3rd
1995–96 Sacramento State 7–20 2–4 T–3rd
Sacramento State Hornets (Big Sky Conference) (1996–1997)
1996–97 Sacramento State 3–23 2–14 9th
Sacramento State: 20–114 6–22
Arizona State Sun Devils (Pacific-10 Conference) (1997–1998)
1997–98 Arizona State 18–14 8–10 T–5th NIT First Round
Arizona State: 18–14 8–10
Total: 38–128


  1. ^ Longman, Jere. "BASKETBALL; New Coach Wades Into Arizona State Maelstrom". Retrieved 12 September 2018.
  2. ^ McDonald, Jeff (September 12, 2018). "Former Spurs assistant Don Newman dies". San Antonio Express-News. (Texas). Retrieved October 8, 2018.
  3. ^ a b c Vangilder, Lenny (September 13, 2018). "Former Brother Martin standout, longtime coach Don Newman dies at 60". Crescent City Sports. (New Orleans, Louisiana). Retrieved October 8, 2018.
  4. ^ a b c d e Yamaguchi, Andy (February 6, 1980). "He left his blue bayou behind". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). p. C2.
  5. ^ a b Smith, Marlin (March 2, 2004). "The Monson Era". Scout Media. Archived from the original on January 18, 2005.
  6. ^ Missildine, Harry (January 14, 1979). "Twice over lightly". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). p. C1.
  7. ^ "Basketball". Gem of the Mountains, University of Idaho yearbook. 1980. p. 21, part 2.
  8. ^ "Vandals drub NAU". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). February 24, 1980. p. C1.
  9. ^ "College standings". Lewiston Morning Tribune. (Idaho). March 3, 1980. p. 4C.
  10. ^ "Neman named All Big Sky". Lewiston Morning Tribune. (Idaho). March 6, 1980. p. 3C.
  11. ^ "Collins, Newman picked for Big Sky All-Stars". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). Associated Press. March 6, 1980. p. 25.
  12. ^ "Intercollegiate athletics". Gem of the Mountains, University of Idaho yearbook. 1980. p. 22, part 4.
  13. ^ "Collins is drafted by Atlanta Hawks". Spokane Daily Chronicle. (Washington). June 10, 1980. p. 25.
  14. ^ "Celtics sign Tiny Archibald". Nashua Telegraph. (New Hampshire). UPI. October 7, 1980. p. 17.
  15. ^ "Celtics cut Newman". Spokane Daily Chronicle. (Washington). UPI. October 9, 1980. p. 38.
  16. ^ "Ex-Vandal cut". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). Associated Press. October 9, 1980. p. 40.
  17. ^ a b Emerson, Paul (August 2, 1981). "A change of sports". Lewiston Morning Tribune. (Idaho). p. 7C.
  18. ^ "Vandals sweep into first place". Lewiston Morning Tribune. (Idaho). April 8, 1979. p. 1B.
  19. ^ "Vandal Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2018". University of Idaho Athletics. July 2, 2018. Retrieved October 8, 2018.
  20. ^ "Don Newman passes at 60". University of Idaho Athletics. September 13, 2018. Retrieved October 8, 2018.
  21. ^ Blanchette, John (July 20, 1981). "New allegiances, same dream for Newman". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). p. 13.
  22. ^ Blanchette, John (January 26, 1983). "Oh Canada? Two anthems, two sports for Newman". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). p. C1.
  23. ^ "Don Newman Statistics". Retrieved 12 September 2018.
  24. ^ a b Wilson, Bernie (November 4, 1987). "Newman finds Pullman move short and easy". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). Associated Press. p. D4.
  25. ^ "Spurs notebook: Former assistant Don Newman dies". San Antonio Express-News. 12 September 2018. Retrieved 13 September 2018.
  26. ^ a b Bock, Hal (November 26, 1997). "Well-traveled Newman has Arizona State in NIT semifinals". Associated Press. Retrieved November 16, 2014.
  27. ^ "Don Newman basketball camp registration begins". Idahonian. (Moscow). January 3, 1987. p. 18.
  28. ^ Kearney, Trevor (March 19, 1998). "Newman will rise; he has before". Moscow-Pullman Daily News. (Idaho-Washington). p. 1C.
  29. ^ a b c "ASU Appoints Don Newman as Interim Basketball Coach". Arizona State Sun Devils. September 22, 1997. Retrieved November 16, 2014.
  30. ^ "Don Newman". Oregon Ducks. Archived from the original on July 22, 2001.
  31. ^ a b "Don Newman Coaching Record". Archived from the original on 2014-11-29. Retrieved 13 September 2018.
  32. ^ "Don Newman Coaching Record". College Basketball. Retrieved 12 September 2018.
  33. ^ "Frieder resigns at ASU". Arizona Daily Wildcat. September 11, 1997. Retrieved November 16, 2014.
  34. ^ Reisner, Mel (September 23, 1997). "Former Vandal Don Newman tabbed by ASU". Moscow-Pullman Daily News. (Idaho-Washington). Associated Press. p. 1B.
  35. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-11-29. Retrieved 2014-11-16.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  36. ^ "Don Newman". NBA. Archived from the original on March 25, 2014. Retrieved November 16, 2014.
  37. ^ "Spurs Name Don Newman Assistant Coach". San Antonio Spurs. June 28, 2004. Retrieved November 16, 2014.
  38. ^ Wang, Gene (July 9, 2012). "Wizards add Don Newman to coaching staff". Washington post.
  39. ^ Meehan, Jim (September 13, 2018). "Idaho Vandals Hall of Fame basketball player Don Newman dies at age 60". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). Retrieved October 8, 2018.
  40. ^ "Spurs notebook: Former assistant Don Newman dies". 12 September 2018. Retrieved 13 September 2018.
  41. ^ "Don Newman, who coached at Sac State in 1990s before rising to NBA, dies at 60". The Sacramento Bee. September 12, 2018.

External links[edit]