By Bryan Boggiano
The Coral Springs city commission posthumously honored a coach and father who helped young athletes excel.
The commission declared Aug. 18, 2021, as “David Newman Day” in the city at their Wednesday meeting. Newman was a player, coach, and parent in the city’s baseball, soccer and flag football programs. He died on May 1 after a five-year battle with Lou Gehrig’s disease or ALS.
Newman moved to Coral Springs in 1972 and graduated from Coral Springs High School in 1986.
In 2017, Coral Springs Talk wrote a profile on Newman’s battle with ALS.
According to als.org, ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease affecting the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. The disease destroys neurons that control voluntary muscles, and people with the disease eventually lose the ability to speak, eat and breathe. There is no cure.
Commissioner Shawn Cerra introduced the resolution and spoke highly of Newman not only as a close friend but also as somebody whom he coached with for over 10 years whom he had a deep respect for.
Cerra talked about going on a medical trip with Newman to Boston. Cerra said that observing Newman’s positive attitude, despite his prognosis, inspired him.
“The connection that we made on that trip and to watch someone that knows he’s on borrowed time, and just the whole attitude that he had, really resonated with me, and it’s going to deeply impact my life,” he said at the meeting.
Newman also applied his positive attitude to his players. To them, he was not only a coach but also a mentor. According to a document from the city, he helped his players develop their leadership, respect, work ethic, and disciplinary skills.
But the people who felt his impact most were his family. He is survived by his wife, Jennifer, and their four children: Trevor, Brooke, Zachary, and Morgan. Additionally, he has a grandson, Kaiden.
“Just to see the amount of time, effort, and caring that he gave to his players and to his kids…he left his mark on them,” Cerra said.
In his remarks, Cerra told Jennifer that the city appreciates the commitment and dedication that he gave to kids over the years.
To Newman’s children, Cerra said, “You guys had the privilege of having a phenomenal father, someone that was deeply entrusted to not only making sure that you guys got what you needed, but ultimately was an outstanding role model.”
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