KENT'S WATERS SIGNS SIX-YEAR EXTENSION

Updated 7/6/2000
KENT, Ohio Kent State University men's basketball head coach Gary Waters, who has directed the Golden Flashes to back-to-back national postseason appearances, has agreed to a six-year contract extension, KSU President Carol Cartwright and Director of Athletics Laing Kennedy announced July 6.

The new contract, which will keep Waters at Kent State through June 30, 2006 (the 2005-06 season), replaces the final four years of the extension he signed in April 1999. In addition to the base salary, the contract includes incentives based on his team's on-court and academic performances as well as home attendance goals.

"I'm very excited about this extension," said Waters, who had been listed as a finalist for the recent head coaching openings at the University of Houston and the University of Miami. "It's our job to continue the high quality of basketball we've developed during the last four years here at Kent State. We will work to build the program even stronger that it has been.

"Even when there have been other job opportunities, Kent State has always been in the forefront of my mind. Summer recruiting starts this weekend and we will be focused on the job at hand, which is to improve our program."

During the past two seasons, Waters has led Kent State to a 46-15 overall record and consecutive berths in national postseason tournaments. His 1998-99 team set a school record with 23 victories (23-7), won the Mid-American Conference (MAC) Tournament title for the first time in school history, and earned an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. In the 1999-2000 season, the Golden Flashes again won 23 games (23-8) and then advanced to the National Invitation Tournament, where they won their first two games to advance to the tournament quarterfinals. Both teams finished second in the MAC's East Division with 13-5 conference marks.

For his successes, Waters has been named MAC Coach of the Year each of the last two years, becoming only the third coach in conference history to earn the award in back-to-back seasons.

In four years at Kent State, Waters has compiled an overall record of 68-50 and a MAC regular-season mark of 42-30. His first squad posted a 9-18 record in 1996-97; his second club improved to 13-17 and reached the MAC Tournament semifinals prior to the breakout year of 1998-99.

"Gary has had a strong impact on our men's basketball program, both on the court and in the classroom," said President Cartwright. "With his commitment and leadership, we are confident that the program will continue to grow and flourish."

"It is a privilege to have the opportunity to develop a long-term contract with Gary," said Kennedy. "He represents quality and integrity, and is someone who will continue to bring prestige and honor to Kent State University on and off the court. Gary has led our program to a preeminent position in the Mid-American Conference as well as national recognition by virtue of our team's back-to-back postseason appearances."

The 19th head basketball coach in school history, Waters came to Kent State in 1996 from Eastern Michigan University, where he was a member of head coach Ben Braun's staff for seven seasons. Waters served as assistant head coach from 1989-93 and as associate head coach for the final three seasons.

A native of Detroit, Mich., Waters earned a bachelor's degree in business administration from Ferris State University in 1975, then went on to receive a bachelor's degree in business education from that institution in 1978. He earned a master's degree in education administration from Central Michigan University in 1976.