A local college lacrosse coach bet on himself

Kyle Newman gave up a full-time healthcare job to coach college lacrosse at Haverford College.

By Ryan Mack

Kyle Newman woke up at the same time as he had for the last year—six o’clock on the dot. He rolled out of bed begrudgingly and attempted to shower and dress before the sun began to rise.

Newman made the same trip each morning, commuting from Bryn Mawr to Philadelphia as an Aveanna healthcare home aid. He stopped at Dunkin Donuts before spending the rest of the day tending to residents in the city.

During his stint in health care, many of Newman’s clients were children. Seeing their struggles took a toll on the recent college grad.

After initially getting into the industry thinking he was making a difference in the Philadelphia community, he found himself overwhelmed and worn out.

“[It was] kind of a tough pill to swallow,” Newman said. “You feel good about it, because you’re doing something to help them. A lot of the time, you kind of got exposed to the other side of that, where it’s like they’re sick for a certain reason.

“You start to kind of see that sadness in the world of, like, why the kids are sick, why they need the help that they need, and the kind of situation that they’re living in now. It can be very overwhelming.”

The tireless days of tending to many of the less fortunate took a toll on him, and he decided to get out of the job after barely a year.

Newman knew he wanted to help kids but didn’t know what to do next. Stuck, he reached out to old friend Joe Moore, a former lacrosse player at Syracuse who had just been hired to be Princeton Day School’s head lacrosse coach.

Moore helped Newman land at Chestnut Hill University as a college lacrosse player. Now, with Newman looking to make a career change, Moore hired him as a 23-year-old assistant coach on the Princeton Day School staff he was building. 

Newman bet on himself and said yes to Moore’s offer, but he expected the job to be temporary. 

“I was like, ‘All right, what are we gonna take care of?” Newman said. “I’m going to do this for the next two years, you know, whatever. I’m going to coach the kids, and then I’m gonna get back into whatever I’m going to do with my career.” 

That all happened in February 2020. 

Now it’s his full-time job.

Newman used the leap of faith he took in jumping into the Princeton Day School job to carve out a college career. He’s now finishing off his first season as a full-time assistant coach at Division III Haverford College. 


Growing up in West Windsor, New Jersey, it was just Newman, his mother and his sister.

It was all he knew.

His mother spent most of her days working multiple jobs while Newman and his sister grew up. When she wasn’t working, it was making sure her children had what they needed.

Through his adolescent years, that meant going through school, the exact opposite of what he wanted to do throughout the time. Once he entered high school, Newman began to slack off and convinced himself that he had no future in academics and planned to enter the military.

“I was a pretty stubborn student at the time,” Newman said. “It was tough, man. There wasn’t a ton of focus on how well I was doing in school. It was more like, I am in school. I would act out. I have my own path and convinced myself that I wasn’t really going to be able to afford school.”

Then he was introduced to a sport that helped change his point of view on his future.

The first time Newman picked up a lacrosse stick was when he was in the eighth grade. His first love was basketball, but his love of the game faded once he found lacrosse.

He tried out for the West Windsor-Plainsboro North Lacrosse team his freshman year and after making the team, he instantly began making an impact.  

After a game during his junior year, one of his teammate’s dads asked him about his future in the sport. He had never thought about it before, but that moment made the 16-year-old begin to think he had a future.

He wasn’t sure where to start with recruitment, but his basketball coach Frank Moore had a brother who was a local legend in the town— Moore, who was on the Orange’s 2009 National Championship team before playing for the Rochester Rattlers.

The pro lacrosse player began to advise Newman on how to approach the college recruiting process.  After the summer of Newman’s junior year, he started to get looks.

“I started paying a little bit more attention to my grades to the best of my ability,” Newman said. “I went in and started playing club lacrosse, and I only played for a year. I got to a point where I have a bunch of schools around the corner. I think Lehigh had some interest.”

But Neman didn’t have Patriot League-level grades. His play garnered interest, but his grades pushed schools away. Every conversation started strong but by the time his academics were brought up, Newman was told the school wanted to go in a different direction.

The months marched on and by the time April rolled around with graduation looming, the option of college lacrosse seemed dim.

Then at the last second, Newman got the break he was looking for with Chestnut Hill College. The small program at the edge of the northwestern edge of Philadelphia reached out and took a chance on the 6-foot-5 defenseman, and he enrolled in 2013.


Newman first stepped foot on the Chestnut Hill campus as an incoming freshman on a tight leash. Head coach Brian Doughtry brought Newman in knowing his academic track record. 

After his first semester though, he was already behind the Eight Ball. 

“I had to go and uphold a certain GPA in order to stay,” Newman said. “I applied myself a little bit better as a student when I was there. I think I had like a 2.85 GPA or something.”

Doughtry’s gamble paid off after the first setback and Newman became a stalwart for the Griffins. While he was making a name on the field, the schools that were too good for him took notice and tried to lure him to their campus as a transfer.

“A whole lot of these schools started calling me,” Newman said. “Drew was one of them. They offered me. They were like ‘Yeah, if you want to come … ’I was just like, ‘You know what? I’m good.’  I started looking around, I started looking at all the friends I made, I liked the place where I was at. My loyalty kicked in and I stayed there.”

Newman spent five seasons at Chestnut Hill and earned his spot as a starter after his sophomore season. The kid who wasn’t sure he even had a future just six years earlier graduated with a master’s and with a full future ahead of him.

But he would have another important decision to make soon.  


Now armed with a bachelor’s and master’s degree, Newman began taking odd jobs just to make ends meet and wasn’t sure what he wanted to do. He started out at Home Depot and warehouses, working the night shifts to get by while he figured out what he wanted to do.

Nothing he did seemed to last long and he began searching for something he knew that he could have a passion for.

That started and ended with the sport he loves—lacrosse.

Following his departure from Aveanna healthcare he began dipping his toe into the coaching world, where more opportunities began to arise. 

Moore, who was the director of lacrosse at Centercourt, a sports complex, offered Newman the chance for his first chance at a full-time job as the lacrosse director at the Lawrence, New Jersey branch. 

After being in a job he dreaded, Newman quickly found himself back on his feet with two new opportunities.  

“I was like ‘Bet,’ it sounds like a great opportunity,” Newman said. “That’s how things kind of started rolling downhill and that’s how I started getting involved and it was definitely a blessing.”

Newman was on PDS staff from 2020 until 2024, he saw the Panthers return to form as the cream of the crop in Mercer County. 

He witnessed his Panthers earn their way to the top in 2023, advancing to the NJSIAA state championship before falling to St. Bernards. While the PDS made strides on the field, it was the strides off the field that Newman made with his players that kept him going.

“That’s been the best part about the past four years,” Newman said. “The bonds and relationships that I’ve developed with players and the coaches.”

The relationships he made in Princeton made deciding to step away from the team for another opportunity much harder. Moore had stepped down following the 2023 season and Nick Taylor, who used to coach at Haverford, took his place.

The pair had a conversation about Newman’s future on the staff following Taylor’s hiring. While Taylor wanted him to return, he also knew he could help him land at Haverford College as its head coach. 

Newman jumped at the opportunity thanks to Taylor. He wasn’t sure if he wanted this or if coaching was the path he wanted to take, but after four years he was close to that decision and the move was the final push to figuring out his passion.

“I just needed to decide and find out if I wanted to make a career out of it,” Newman said. “You kind of have to work, you have to decide if you want to go, you kind of have to coach at the college level, not only pay your dues and earn your stripes.  I was like, you know, I should probably figure out if this is what I want to do long term.”

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