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Briefs: Newland adds another honor

Legendary UC Irvine coach Ted Newland will be inducted into the USA Water Polo Hall of Fame April 5 at the Hotel Irvine Jamboree Center in Irvine.

Newland, in his 39 years as UCI’s men’s water polo coach (1966-2004), amassed 714 victories and led the Anteaters to NCAA titles in 1970, 1982 and 1989. His ’82 team went 30-0.

A coach emeritus at UCI, Newland guided UCI to the final four of the NCAA Championship 21 times. Fifteen of his Anteater players competed on the U.S. Olympic team and 113 of his student-athletes earned All-American honors.

His son, George, competed for the Anteaters, as have five grandsons.


Newland, the 1989 NCAA Coach of the Year, received that honor on three other occasions and he was named conference Coach of the Year eight times.

Newland served as head coach for the U.S. teams in the World University Games a total of five times: 1999 in Spain, 1995 in Japan, 1991 in Great Britain, 1979 in Bulgaria and 1973 in Russia. He also coached the U.S. national team and American squads in the Pan American Games. He was president of the American Water Polo Coaches Assn. and served as secretary-rules editor of the NCAA Water Polo Committee. He is the only coach to have had two teams in the top four of the Outdoor U.S. Water Polo Championships, and he accomplished that three times. Over all levels of his coaching career, he won more than 5,300 games.

He also served as UCI’s head swim coach in the 1970s, leading the Anteaters to three NCAA Division II championships. Prior to arriving at UCI, he initiated the water polo programs at Newport Harbor and Corona del Mar high schools. He led CdM to its first CIF water polo championship in 1965.

In 2007, Newland received UCI’s highest honor, the Medal, which annually gives formal and lifelong recognition to those who have made extraordinary contributions to the university’s mission of teaching, research and public service.


Reverently referred to as the “Old Man,” by his players, Newland is a graduate of Occidental College, at which he competed as a goalkeeper.

Information on tickets for the 2014 USA Water Polo Hall of Fame banquet is available at

— From staff reports

Big West lauds UCI’s Nelson

UC Irvine freshman guard Luke Nelson was named Big West Conference Player of the Week in men’s basketball.

Nelson averaged 17 points per game in UCI’s 61-58 win over Long Beach State on Feb. 6, and the Anteaters’ 61-59 victory over UC Davis on Feb. 8. The wins lifted the Anteaters into sole possession of first place in the conference.

Nelson scored a career-high 28 points in the win over Long Beach State, including five three-pointers. He also had four steals, including two late in the game that he converted into layups.

In the win at UC Davis, Nelson scored six points. H’s driving layup through traffic with 1:50 left gave the ‘Eaters the lead for good.


— From staff reports

‘Eaters’ Sparks among elite

UC Irvine third baseman Taylor Sparks has been named to the 60-man preseason watch list for the Golden Spikes Award, which honors the top amateur baseball player.

Sparks was the Big West Co-Player of the Year in 2013, as well as an American Baseball Coaches Assn. Gold Glove winner at third. The junior batted .360, with 10 home runs, 50 runs batted in and a conference-best .581 slugging percentage.

Over the summer, Sparks competed for Team USA and was the top American player in the USA-Japan series. He batted a team-best .396, with 21 hits and 10 RBIs.

The rolling list will be pared down to 50 players on April 10, and on May 27 USA Baseball will announce the semifinalists for the Golden Spikes Award. Fans will be able to vote for their favorite semifinalists on that day, and finalists on June 3.

The Golden Spikes Award will be presented on July 17.

Sparks was also named first-team preseason All-American by Baseball America.


The lone Big West Conference representative on the first team, Sparks also has received preseason All-American recognition from the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Assn., Collegiate Baseball and Perfect Game.

Sparks is also in Baseball America’s Top 50 prospect list, ranking No. 19 among the junior class.

— From staff reports

Vanguard’s Wynne honored

Vanguard University men’s basketball senior guard Preston Wynne was named the NAIA National Division I Player of the Week for the week ending Feb. 2.

Wynne led the Lions to victories over two Top 25 opponents. On Jan. 28, he scored 30 points in Vanguard’s upset of then-No. 8 Concordia, 94-79. Then, on Feb. 1, he scored 25 as the Lions edged out a 72-69 overtime victory over then-No. 23 Hope International.

For the week, Wynne averaged 27.5 points, nine rebounds and five assists.

— From staff reports

GSAC recognizes Gorman

Vanguard University junior men’s basketball player Chris Gorman earned Golden State Player of the Week honors recently after a clutch performance against then-No. 13 Arizona Christian.

Gorman poured in 31 points as Vanguard earned a 76-75 upset win on the road on Jan. 25. He hit the winning free throws with eight seconds remaining, and added four three-pointers in the victory.

Gorman also had 14 points in an 85-74 win over Westmont College on Jan. 21. For the season, he is averaging 16 points per game, which is fifth in the GSAC.

— From staff reports