By Matt Loede - 92.3 The Fan

CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) – The Cleveland State Vikings Men’s hoops team has rewarded head coach Gary Waters with a new seven-year contract that will keep him at Cleveland State through the 2018-19 season. The new contract replaces the one Waters received in 2009.

Waters has led Cleveland State to four postseason appearances in the last five seasons.

“Coach Waters is a highly respected leader whose teams excel on and off the basketball court,” said Cleveland State University President Ronald M. Berkman. “Coach Waters fully expects his students-athletes to give nothing less in the classroom then they give on the basketball court. We are grateful that Coach Waters has made the commitment to realize his goal of building a storied basketball program at CSU.”

“I am excited about the commitment that Cleveland State has made to me and my family,” Waters said. “With this vote of confidence by my President Berkman, Director of Athletics John Parry and the Cleveland State community, it will allow me to basically finish out my career here at Cleveland State. I love Cleveland and I love Cleveland State University and it’s a marriage made in heaven. I look forward to the challenges and goals we will set to continue to make this a very successful program.”

Waters joined the Viking program in the spring of 2006 and quickly transformed Cleveland State into one of the top mid-major programs in the country. He has compiled a 122-82 record during his tenure at CSU, including four 20-win seasons in his six seasons on the sideline. The 2007-08 Horizon League Coach of the Year, Waters led the Vikings to the NCAA tournament in 2009, which was just the second time the Vikings reached the NCAA tournament in program history (1986).

Waters has also led the Vikings to the National Invitational Tournament in 2008, 2011 and 2012 and a pair of Horizon League Championships (2009, 2011).
“First and foremost, Gary is an educator,” Director of Athletics John Parry said. “This contract is well deserved and represents a very positive committment from CSU and Coach Waters. I am excited for the future of CSU basketball.”

It is not just on the court where the Vikings have been successful as Waters has also guided his student-athletes to success in the classroom. Of the 19 seniors who have come through the program, all of them have graduated. In addition, Waters and the Vikings received the NCAA Public Recognition Award for the 2011-12 season, which is bestowed upon teams with an NCAA Division I Academic Progress Rate in the top-10 percent in the country.

When Waters arrived in 2006, the men’s basketball APR was below 900, which by today’s standards would mean the Vikings would be ineligible for the NCAA tournament.

Waters owns a 15-year head coaching record of 293-217 that includes 10 post-season tournament appearances. Cleveland State opens the 2012-13 season at home against Grambling on Friday (Nov. 9) at 7:30 p.m.


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