Newland’s Value to Water Polo: Priceless
He still runs as much as he can with his water polo squad, a team who is at least three times younger than him. He enjoys reading historical books, exercising and spending time with his wife, three kids and seven grandchildren. His idea of a great evening is just sitting down with his wife for hours on end. A good friend even dedicated his doctoral thesis to to him, and he stll has the thesis. This man is none other than Ted Newland.
Ted Newland has been the head coach of the men’s water polo team here at UCI for the past 39 years. Within those 39 years, he has led the Anteaters to three NCAA Championship Titles and 18 of 26 Final Four games.
He has been NCAA Coach of the Year three times and Conference Coach of the Year a total of eight times. Not only does he coach the UCI Water Polo team, but he also has a club team outside the university that he coaches.
He began his coaching career in 1956 as the swim coach at Newport Harbor High School, where he led the team to 17 league championships between 1956 and 1962.
He later went on to establish the water polo program at Corona del Mar High School in 1963, which he led to nine league championships from 1964 to 1966 and a Southern Section CIF title in 1965.
Before he became the head coach for the UCI Men’s Water Polo team, Newland began his career at UCI as the men’s head swim coach in the early 1960s.
Even as the swim coach, he showed success, leading the Anteaters to three Division II national titles from 1968 to 1970.
After several years of coaching collegiate swim teams, he took on a new role as the head coach for men’s water polo.
‘[Water polo is] more exciting and more enjoyable,’ Newland said. ‘Swim is … boring.’
Since then, the Anteaters have had a phenomenal water polo record under his leadership.
UC Irvine Women’s Water Polo Head Coach Dan Klatt, who played water polo for Newland at UCI and just competed in the 2004 Olympics, believes Newland has provided ‘longevity in UCI athletics. He has been here through all the hardships and good things.’
Throughout the course of his career at UCI, Newland has had 11 players participate in the Olympics a total of 22 times.
Five of his athletes competed in water polo at the 2004 Olympic games in Athens this year.
Klatt agrees that Newland is ‘consistently winning’ throughout his tenure at UCI.
‘He [Newland] produced a lot of top level athletes in his sport,’ Klatt said.
Newland claims that the reason he has had so much success with these players is because of self-discipline and weight training, among other things.
Newland was one of the first few coaches to introduce weight training to the athletic program at UCI.
He was also the first coach to weight train twice a day, every day of the week.
Not until the early 1990s did other sports teams begin weight training.
‘International game is more physical than college game,’ Newland said. ‘My players lift more weights and that’s why they are stronger.’
Aside from coaching 11 Olympians, Newland has also coached his son and is currently coaching his grandson, Ty Newland, who has recently transferred from a junior college to join the Anteaters.
In 1999, Newland was inducted into the UCI Hall of Fame and is considered one of the greatest coaches in the sport.
Not only is he respected in the community but he is also an icon on this campus.
To date, Newland is the only water polo coach in all of NCAA history with more than 700 wins.
He recorded his 700th win just this season.
When asked about the secrets to his success, Newland simply replied, ‘You have to set a good example. If you want people to work hard, then you’ve got to work hard too. It’s all about self-discipline and dedication.’
At the age of 76, Newland wakes up every morning at the break of dawn to exercise and to hit the weight room.
Newland feels that as a coach, he has a great amount of influence on his players and that they look up to him like a father figure.
Klatt also believes, from his experience as a former player of Newland’s, that Newland ‘provides you with a father figure. You’re young and not sure about a lot of things. [Newland] does not just teach the fundamentals about water polo, but about life.’
Because of this mentality, Newland tries to do everything his players do, like running miles on end and doing hundreds of push-ups with his athletes.
Undoubtedly, Newland has shown a tremendous amount of passion for coaching this sport.
After 39 years at UCI, he is still coming back to the Anteaters year after year.
His reasoning for returning season after season is his attachment to his players both old and present.
He has a personal bond with each of them, which makes his job satisfying.
It is something he is good at and enjoys.
Newland feels that coaching is a unique job in that he is able to start fresh every single year.
‘I love my job,’ Newland said. ‘It never gets boring and you never know what to expect the following year. All you can do is sit back and relax.’
He loves coaching so much and has such a passion for it that during the 1980s and early 1990s, he coached the team on a pay cut for 11 years.
Newland plans to retire after the 2005 season, with his assistant coach taking his place.
However, this does not mean the end of his coaching career at UCI.
He will still help out the men’s water polo team as an assistant coach and plans to continue coaching his club team, Newport Water Polo, outside of the university.
His expectation is for UCI Men’s Water Polo to be ranked solidly within the top five teams in the naion and to hopefully be ranked as high as fourth by the end of this season.
One thing is for certain: Coach Newland remains an ageless icon in UCI athletics.
Contributions made by Elizabeth M. Botello.