Sports

Long time Mercer Island boys soccer coach dies

Long time Mercer Island boys soccer coach Steve Newman died last week. Newman, 58, served as the coach of the Islanders boys team for the last 17 years.

According to Colin Rigby, the assistant coach for the Islanders, Newman returned home last Thursday after attending the Seattle Pacific University soccer game, went to sleep, suffering an apparent heart attack in his sleep.

The Mercer Island School District posted this to their website over the weekend: “Steve touched the lives of hundreds of boys who participated in the MIHS soccer program. His style was gruff, his heart was huge. There is story after story of him reaching out to players, taking them under his wing, and giving second and third chances to players who otherwise might not have been a part of the soccer program. He took a holistic view of the MIHS soccer program; winning was important, but the boys were more important. Former players have been coming back year after year for pre-season, during season, and post-season practices and games to kick the ball around, sit on the sidelines, and just be a part of the community that Steve created. Steve watched the boys play in their club games, summer leagues, and anytime he could. He gave so much of his life outside of the “required” coach time to make MIHS Boys’ Soccer a fantastic and wonderful program which flourished under his leadership.”

Newman coached the Islanders to two state championship games, including one last spring, falling to Bainbridge Island 1-0. The second appearance was in 2001.

Newman was a Newport High School graduate, played soccer at SPU for three years before becoming a professional player. He played professionally for four seasons, including playing with the Seattle Sounders in 1979. He owned and operated Steve’s Window Washing for 35 years, serving local businesses and homes, including many on Mercer Island.

The school plans to organize an event to celebrate Newman’s coaching career. Service information has not been announced.

 

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