September 27th 2021

The City of Leeds Basketball programme and Basketball Academy are pleased to announce the return of Matt Newby to their coaching ranks. 

Following two seasons with the Worcester Wolves in the BBL, and winning the 2019/2020 BBL Cup whilst ensuring the Worcester outfit returned to winning ways after several tempestuous seasons, he has returned to his home county of Yorkshire following the Worcester franchise’s withdrawal from the professional league. 

He will be leading the COLBA at Allerton High School in the ABL and U18's JNL Premier League, whilst supporting the COLBC club structure and wider community interests of the COLBF.

Matt has worked on multiple levels of the basketball pathway in the UK with roles in Community Development and Performance. He is in his 25th year of coaching and throughout this journey he was integral to the development and evolution of the City of Leeds programmes. Between 2006 and 2014 he was responsible for the ascension of the Leeds Carnegie Basketball programme at Leeds Met University, now Leeds Beckett University. This period would see the student based programme become a perennial contender in British Universities and Colleges competitions, collecting 1 gold, 1 silver and multiple bronzes at the BUC's final 8's. The programme would concurrently rise through the senior national league structure, rising to prominence in NBL Division 1. 

Highlights in this era would include the 2006-2007 D4 League and National Shield Double, 2007-2008 D3 League and Playoff Double, 2008-09 NBL D2 League and Patrons Cup Double and D2 Playoff (Runners Up), 2010-11 NBL D1 Playoff Final (Runners Up) the 2012-2013 National Cup and the 2013-2014 NBL D1 Playoff Champions.

In 2014 he developed the City of Leeds Basketball Academy (COLBA) at Allerton High School, which has fostered the talent of multiple Yorkshire, GB and England national teams players, including Daniel Evans, Jaka Pandza, Vasja Pandza and Micah Savery Richards. The Academy would see significant success in 2016 and 2017 with runners up medals in the U18 National Cup and U18 Playoffs respectively. Matt has been involved with Basketball England's performance pathway as lead coach in the Aspire programme, and has coached the Yorkshire U13's representative side. He has also worked in the National Teams structure as the 3x3 lead for the inaugural FIBA World Championships in 2012. Additionally Matt has a degree in Sports Coaching from St Martin's College Lancaster and is BE Level 3 Coach and Accredited Coach Educator.

Throughout his career he has consistently looked to advance his understanding of the game. This has seen him establish long standing relationships and partnerships with organisations such as legendary basketball camp Five-Star, and more recently Red Star Belgrade. These relationships have benefitted many players and coaches, both in the club and broader basketball community.

On the subject of returning to the floor with COLBA and coming home he commented: 

"I have essentially come full circle, which in many ways is exciting because I get the opportunity to work with new generations of players, from the city and broader region, and hopefully impact their futures. Working with and developing the coaching team that we have assembled for the club will also be an exciting proposition, and we have a great blend of experience and youth which bodes well for the future. Furthermore I am excited about developing new opportunities for the young people within the city and throughout wider area. As we return to normality we are beginning to see the considerable impact that the pandemic has had on children and youth sport. I hope through the relaunch of our regular community sessions and re-engagement with schools, that we can continue to generate significant interest in the sport." 


Coach Newby will be joined at COLBA by new Assistant Coach James Quinn. James played National League as a junior and senior player before attending Northumbria University, where he launched the coverage of the NBL for Hoopsfix.com alongside completing his degree. Having been involved in Basketball at a number of levels and following a break from the game, James has recently engaged in PGCE teacher training specialising in Business and Enterprise and is completing his BE Level 2 coaching award this year. 

James is excited by the opportunity:

“The club is in a great position this year to provide quality opportunities for young local talent to thrive. Working under Coach Newby with our exciting young COLBA group is a top opportunity to improve as a coach and one I am very grateful for. I am looking forward to seeing our development as a programme over the season.”

COLBA Director Matt Newby Commented on James's appointment: 

"James has come in with an abundance of enthusiasm and has impacted the programme immediately. On the court he is helping players with their individual development whilst contributing significantly to the redevelopment of our Academy structure."

The COLBA start their season in the ABL this Wednesday with a home game against Xaverian College.

Photo Credit: Mansoor Ahmed