Deborah Newkirk has over three decades of experience in youth coaching. When she was working on her undergraduate
degree, she was told to focus on either teaching or coaching. But she has spent a professional lifetime bringing
the two worlds together.
She earned both undergrad and M.S. Ed. Degrees from Pittsburg State University in Kansas. Legendary Naismith Hall of Fame Coach Marian Washington hired Deborah as women’s basketball assistant coach at The University of Kansas, where a Sweet 16 visit topped off that tenure. She served as camp director for KU for over a decade.
Deborah stepped away from competitive coaching after 20 years and focused on training. Today, COACH ‘EM UP serves as a resource for nearly 2,000 families a year. Her coaching certification program teaches the positive and effective model and methodologies, mentoring eager coaches to feel confident and prepared. Year-round off-the-floor training programs have been a big part of COACH ‘EM UP's success, providing young athletes with motivating and organized means of “touches” and play in their backyards.
COACH KIDS UP is her dream-come-true company that launched in fall 2015. This web-based app company provides organized, age-appropriate/progression practice plans through short videos for all sports. Through PE curriculum concepts, COACH KIDS UP empowers young and new volunteer coaches along with moms and dads doing backyard coaching.
Deborah has been recognized with Coach of the Year honors as a high school coach and Physical Educator of the Year honors by the National Association of Sport and Physical Education. She was named Physical Educator of the Year by the Kansas Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance. She was also recognized by the Governor’s Council on Fitness, noting her efforts in keeping kids moving.
Today Deborah partners with other programs and serves as a consultant and/or camp director. Deborah partnered with Olympian, Naismith Hall of Famer, and longtime friend Lynette Woodard in 2009, taking the game of basketball to gyms around the country.
Coach Kids Up Deborah Newkirk created our volleyball and basketball training plans. She has decades of experience helping young athletes succeed in both sports.