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Former Wizards assistant coach Don Newman passes away at age 60

San Antonio Spurs v Washington Wizards Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Don Newman, who served as an assistant coach with the Wizards from 2012-16, passed away from cancer on Wednesday, according to Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News.

Randy Wittman hired Newman as his head assistant when he took over as the Wizards’ head coach in 2012. Newman played a key role in shaping the team’s defense, which ranked top-ten in defensive efficiency three of his four seasons in Washington. He also filled in as the team’s head coach for two games in 2016 while Wittman mourned the death of his brother.

The Wizards posted the following statement on their Twitter page on Wednesday evening:

Prior to coaching in Washington, Newman served as an assistant under Gregg Popovich in San Antonio, where he won two titles with the Spurs. Before that, he served as an assistant coach with the Bucks and Nets. He also served as an assistant and head coach in the college ranks. He served as the head coach at Sacramento State from 1992-97, then served as an assistant and interim head coach at Arizona State, followed by two assistant coaching gigs at Oregon and Washington State.