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Frank "Muddy" Waters
Coach Waters at Michigan State University
Sport Football
Born January 30, 1923(1923-01-30)
Place of birth Chico, California
Died September 20, 2006 (aged 83)
Place of death Saginaw, Michigan
Career highlights
Overall 173–96–7
Coaching stats
College Football DataWarehouse
1 GLIAC (1979)
NAIA Coach of the Year (1957)
Michigan Coach of the Year (8 times)
NAIA Coach's Hall of Fame
Playing career
1946–1949 Michigan State
Position Fullback
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
Saginaw Valley State
Michigan State
College Football Hall of Fame, 2000 (Bio)

Frank "Muddy" Waters (January 30, 1923 – September 20, 2006) was an American college football coach best known for his years at Hillsdale College from 1954 to 1973 and at Michigan State University from 1980 to 1982. In 2000, he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.[1]


Early years and playing career

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 "Biggie" Munn.

Coaching career



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

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

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

After leaving MSU's head coach position, Waters continued to live in East Lansing and participate as 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

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl Coaches# AP°
Hillsdale Chargers (Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association/Independent) (1954–1973)
Hillsdale: 138–47–5
Saginaw Valley State Cardinals (Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference) (1975–1979)
1975 Saginaw Valley State 3–7 1–3
1976 Saginaw Valley State 4–7 0–5
1977 Saginaw Valley State 6–5 2–3
1978 Saginaw Valley State 4–5–1 1–3–1
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
#Rankings from final Coaches Poll.
°Rankings from final AP Poll.


External links

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Darryl Rogers
Michigan State Head Football Coach
Succeeded by
George Perles


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