Muddy Waters (American football)

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Muddy Waters
Muddywaters 2.jpg
Sport(s) Football
Biographical details
Born (1923-01-30)January 30, 1923
Chico, California
Died September 20, 2006(2006-09-20) (aged 83)
Saginaw, Michigan
Playing career
1946–1949 Michigan State
Position(s) Fullback
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1954–1973 Hillsdale
1975–1979 Saginaw Valley State
1980–1982 Michigan State
Head coaching record
Overall 173–96–7
Accomplishments and honors
7 MIAA (1954–1960)
1 GLIAC (1979)
NAIA Coach of the Year (1957)
Michigan Coach of the Year (8 times)
NAIA Coach's Hall of Fame
College Football Hall of Fame
Inducted in 2000 (profile)

Frank "Muddy" Waters (January 30, 1923 – September 20, 2006) was an American football player and coach. He served as the head coach at Hillsdale College (1954–1973), Saginaw Valley State University (1975–1979), and Michigan State University (1980–1982), compiling a career college football record of 173–96–7. Waters was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a coach in 2000.[1]

Early years and playing career[edit]

Waters was born in Chico, California and grew up in Wallingford, Connecticut, where he attended The Choate School. He played fullback for Michigan State from 1946 to 1949 under coaches Charlie Bachman and Clarence Munn.

Coaching career[edit]


His Hillsdale Dales/Chargers teams won 34 consecutive games from 1953 to 1957 while participating in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association. In 1955, his 9–0 team refused to play in the Tangerine Bowl when game officials prohibited the team's black players from participating. He was named NAIA Coach of the Year in 1957, a year in which the team played in the Holiday Bowl and was chosen by the Washington D.C. Touchdown Club as the best small college team in the country. In his final year at the school, its stadium was renamed Frank Waters Stadium.

Saginaw Valley State[edit]

After leaving Hillsdale with a 138–47–5 record, Waters went on to serve as the first head coach of the Saginaw Valley State University Cardinals from 1975 to 1979, posting a 25–26–2 record and capturing a Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference title in his final season.

Michigan State[edit]

In 1980, Michigan State hired Waters as head football coach after an NCAA probation. Waters coached for three seasons, but got fired after a 10–23 record in three seasons.[2] Despite his firing just before the last game of the season, Waters was popular enough with players and fans to be carried off the field after his final 24–18 loss to Iowa.

Later life and death[edit]

After leaving MSU's head coach position, Waters continued to live in East Lansing and participated as a member of the MSU community for the next two decades. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2000 in the Small College category. Waters died of congestive heart failure at age 83 in Saginaw, Michigan.

Head coaching record[edit]

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
Hillsdale Chargers (Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association) (1954–1960)
1954 Hillsdale 7–1–1
1955 Hillsdale 9–0
1956 Hillsdale 9–0
1957 Hillsdale 9–1
1958 Hillsdale 7–2
1959 Hillsdale 8–2
1960 Hillsdale 9–1
Hillsdale Chargers (NAIA independent) (1961–1973)
1961 Hillsdale 6–3
1962 Hillsdale 5–3–1
1963 Hillsdale 6–3–1
1964 Hillsdale 7–2–1
1965 Hillsdale 6–3
1966 Hillsdale 3–5–1
1967 Hillsdale 3–5
1968 Hillsdale 6–3
1969 Hillsdale 9–2
1970 Hillsdale 9–2
1971 Hillsdale 6–5
1972 Hillsdale 6–2
1973 Hillsdale 7–2
Hillsdale: 138–47–5
Saginaw Valley State Cardinals (Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference) (1975–1979)
1975 Saginaw Valley State 3–7 1–3 5th
1976 Saginaw Valley State 4–7 0–5 6th
1977 Saginaw Valley State 6–5 2–3 T–3rd
1978 Saginaw Valley State 4–5–1 1–3–1 4th
1979 Saginaw Valley State 8–2–1 4–0–1 1st
Saginaw Valley State: 25–26–2 8–14–2
Michigan State Spartans (Big Ten Conference) (1980–1982)
1980 Michigan State 3–8 2–6 9th
1981 Michigan State 5–6 4–5 T–6th
1982 Michigan State 2–9 2–7 T–8th
Michigan State: 10–23 8–18
Total: 173–96–7
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title


External links[edit]