Memorial Service for UC Irvine’s Ted Newland Planned for June 1st @ Anteater Pool

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Ted Newland, UC Irvine Men's Water Polo Coach Emeritus, sporting NCAA championship hardware. Photo Courtesy: UC Irvine Athetics

A memorial service for Edward “Ted” Newland, the incomparable Coach Emeritus of UC Irvine, will be held on Saturday, June 1st, at the University of California-Irvine Anteater Pool from 1-4 p.m.

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Bret Bernard, who played for Coach Newland, made the following announcement via email. An Anteater in the early 70s, after playing for the U.S. Men’s National team, Bernard went on to a memorable career as a FINA-certified referee who not only was on the pool deck for both the 1992 Barcelona Olympics and the 1996 Atlanta Games but is a member of USA Water Polo’s Hall of Fame—and has an annual award named for him that recognizes outstanding officiating at the elite level.

I was lucky enough to have visited Coach Newland relatively recently, along with Anteater teammates Bruce Black and Jim Kruse, together with his son George also there. Though he was silent, he was alert and his indomitable strength of purpose and spirit shone through; but, we feared we might be visiting Coach for our last time.

So, though his passing was feared and expected, it is still impossible to believe and accept that he has “left this mortal coil” and that the Man who “could kick any of our butts” couldn’t win this one?! The LEGENDS of our youth and sport, who molded us and helped make us all much more the better for our training, and competition, and comradeship through and with him/them are all gone now. And, we each and collectively, along with Water Polo are much the lesser for it. Sad and sobering news …

God rest you, Coach Newland. You will be missed, but of course NOT forgotten, we are all, in significant part thanks to you, who we are because of you.

Bernard ended his announcement: “Hope to see y’all there and then. ZOT!!!”

Also chiming in with a tribute to Coach Newland was Pete Snyder. Now at Fullerton College, where he is a professor of Physical Education and Athletics as well as head men’s and women’s swim coach. For sixteen years (1977-1993) Snyder helmed the UC Santa Barbara men’s team, including during the 1979 season, when he led the Gauchos to their only NCAA water polo title.

I first met Ted in ’77 – my first year in D.I water polo coaching @ UCSB. Ted was always the standard bearer for conditioning among the veteran coaches – [Ken] Lindgren, [Dante] Dettamanti, [Pete] Cutino, [Bob] Horn, [John] Williams.

When you prepared for Ted you made sure to demand excellence from your players because any mistakes you would make in the game were preyed upon by his Anteaters.

Newland and Cutino were the best of friends – in fact one time Newland remarked “Cutino I can’t make you my enemy because I like you too much.”

Ted referred to me as “Kid” for quite a few years and was always willing to talk water polo and about what kind of personalities his and my team had.  Finally, when I became a little older Ted’s greeting was “How’s it going, Snyder”?

One thing you could always expect was that Ted would give you his honest opinion whether you liked it or not – a very rare commodity in present day communications.

I will miss Ted and always hold him in highest esteem as a person who was true to his convictions, loyal to those around him who had earned his respect, and the hardest worker ever. 

Newland, who coached for 39 years at UC Irvine, winning 714 matches as well as three NCAA titles (1970, 1982, 1989) passed away last week at the age of 91.

1 comment

  1. avatar
    Leslie Davis

    As a cheerleader for the Anteaters in the 70’s I transitioned to athlete after taking Coach Newlands swim class. His interest and encouragement influenced my late blooming athleticism that gave me a great life competing in, Not swimming or Polo, but Hawaiian Outrigger Racing. I also went in to the fitness industry as my profession and still am today. Happy and successful, following my dream because a great man showed a little faith in me. Thank you Coach