|Date of birth:||June 22, 1938|
|Place of birth:||Millen, Georgia|
|Date of death:||May 29, 1989(aged 50)|
|NFL Draft:||1960 / Round: 7 / Pick: 83|
|Career NFL statistics|
Robert Lee "Bob" Waters (June 22, 1938 – May 29, 1989) was a successful American football coach and athletics director, best known for his contributions to athletics at Western Carolina University. Waters coached the football Catamounts for 20 football seasons (1969 through 1988), and performed the dual role of athletic director from 1971–1986. According to Western Carolina, "the evolution and success of the school's athletic programs, especially its football program, during that period can be attributed largely to his talents and personality". Waters retired from coaching in March 1989 due to the progression of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease). He died on May 29, 1989, at the age of 50 following a six-year battle with the disease.
Waters grew up in Sylvania, Georgia and was a successful athlete at Screven County High, receiving 11 varsity letters for his participation in three different sports. He initially entered Stetson University in DeLand, Florida, as a freshman quarterback and defensive back, but when Stetson dropped the school's football program at the end of his first season. Waters transferred to Presbyterian College in Clinton, South Carolina, where he served as a quarterback and defensive back on the college's team. In 1960, the team was invited to the Tangerine Bowl meeting Middle Tennessee State; losing by score of 21–12, Waters was named "most outstanding player". Waters was a member of Mu chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity at PC.
The National Football League's San Francisco 49ers and American Football League's San Diego Chargers both drafted Waters in 1960. After signing with the 49ers, Waters finished his 4-year career with 3 touchdown passes and 8 interceptions. Waters' four years with the 49ers included one as a defensive back and four as quarterback.
Coach and administrator
Waters changed career in 1965, going to Presbyterian College as an assistant coach in 1966. After two seasons with Presbyterian, Waters moved back to the West Coast as an assistant at Stanford University. In 1969, Waters took a football coaching job at Western Carolina, bringing in a victorious season for the 1969 Catamounts in his first year, only losing to his alma mater Presbyterian College. Under his guidance, the team made national rankings in 1972 and 1974, and in 1983 he took the Catamounts to the NCAA I-AA National Championship Game. According to the university's website, his tenure at Western produced "116 victories, 13 winning seasons and top 10 national finishes at three different levels (NAIA, NCAA Division II, NCAA Division I-AA)". He coached 13 All-Americans and 36 All-Southern Conference players.
During the 1971–86 seasons, Waters also served as athletics director. During his service to the university, he directed Western's moved from NAIA, to NCAA Division II, then to NCAA Division I, and gained entrance into the Southern Conference. He helped raise interest in the construction of the E. J. Whitmire Stadium in 1974 and Hennon Stadium in 1986.
In 1988, Waters was honored by the university, which named the playing field of E. J. Whitmire Stadium "Bob Waters Field". Waters has been inducted into the South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame, the Florida Citrus Bowl Hall of Fame and the Western Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame.