Coach Newell begins his first season on the Islander staff. Chris grew up with and attended MI schools with fellow coaches Gavin Cree and Jeff Miller, playing in the Mercer Island ETL and Little Dribblers programs together. During high school, Chris attended Eastside Catholic with former Islander assistant Ryan Rahlfs, where he was a four year varsity letterman, earning Second Team All-Metro honors as a senior. During his junior season of 1999, Chris helped lead the Crusaders to the State Tournament.
Chris walked on to the University of California Santa Barbara basketball team as a freshman, earning a scholarship heading into his second season. The Gauchos won the Big West conference championship in 2002 and advanced to the NCAA tournament, losing to Arizona.
Chris' family heritage is rich in basketball tradition. His grandfather, hall of famer Pete Newell, is known as one of the most influential coaches in history. He was the first coach to conquer the "triple crown" in basketball - an NIT championship with San Francisco in 1949, an NCAA championship with California in 1959 and a US Olympic Gold Medal as the head coach in 1960. Chris' father, Tom, coached in the NBA for over a decade as well as various stops around the globe as a coach and basketball ambassador.
Chris worked as a coach at his grandfather Pete Newell's "Big Man Camp" from 1999-2008 and worked at the NBA summer league in 2010. He has been involved in camps and clinics in the Greater Seattle area for the last several years and served as the Eastside Catholic freshman coach during the 2009 season. Over the last three years, Chris coached a youth AAU team in Bellevue.
Chris currently works as a private mortgage banker at the Wells Fargo Private Mortgage Banking Division in Seattle.