Newman fills new role with football team after injury


Courtesy of Alex Newman

Alex Newman on the sidelines as assistant running back coach.

Aaron Oechsner and Karalee Manis

You may know Alex Newman, senior exercise science major, as the assistant running back coach for the Lakeland Muskies football team. Before he became an assistant coach, however, Newman was a player on the team.

During his high school football career, Newman lettered all four years. He was also a team captain and won a team achievement award.

As a running back for Lakeland College, Newman played in six games as a freshman, rushing seven times for 13 yards and returning one kickoff. In his sophomore year, he only played in two games in a reverse role for the team.

It was during his sophomore year that he suffered a concussion, sidelining him from the game. In his junior year, Newman injured his knee. Intent on coming back for his senior year, Newman returned to the football program’s summer camp, only to receive another concussion injury.

Newman then made the difficult decision, with the support of his team, to stop playing.

Of his injury and decision, Newman said, “I take concussions seriously because they [can] effect [you] in many different ways.”

He did not, however, walk away from the sport. Because of his skill and knowledge as a running back, Newman was given the opportunity to be an assistant coach for the football team, working with players in the same position he once occupied.

His desire to share his knowledge of the game, coupled with the tools he already possessed for success on the field and the potential he sees in other players, as well as in himself, are what led Newman to his new position. Helping with drills and mentoring players are among the duties he now performs.

Newman is positive in his outlook, despite being sidelined due to injuries. Owing his current success to the opportunities he has been given, Newman said of his motivation, “I want people to know there is life after sports. Football was my life, and now I have another purpose in life.”

Despite no longer playing football, Newman has a plan worked out for life post-Lakeland. The Beach Park, Ill. native wants to relocate to Appleton, Wis. and work at Xperience Fitness. His goal is to be featured on the cover of “Men’s Fitness” and “Men’s Health” magazines as the “Face of Fitness.”

Look for Newman with the coaching staff at the NCAA Division III playoff game Saturday, Nov. 21 against Wheaton College in Illinois.