October 27, 2008

Gary Waters Receives Contract Extension

Oct. 27, 2008

Contact: Brian McCann

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Gary Waters, who last year led Cleveland State to only its fourth post-season appearance in program history, has been rewarded for his performance by agreeing to a contract extension that will keep him at Cleveland State until at least the end of the 2012-13 season.

Waters, who has three seasons remaining on the original five-year contract that he received when he came to Cleveland State in 2006, signed a new five-year rollover contract that eliminates the final three years of the original contract.

In addition, the rollover clause of the contract is designed so that Waters will always have five years remaining on the contract so that it will ensure stability to the program.

"In just two years, Gary has elevated Cleveland State basketball into one of the elite programs in the Horizon League," CSU Director of Athletics Lee Reed said. "Because of the great work that he has already done and the prospects for an even brighter future, it is my hope that this contract is the last one that he ever signs and that he remains as the head coach at Cleveland State until he decides to retire from coaching.

"The program that Gary has built is about much more than winning and losing, it is about doing things the right way and doing them in accordance with the mission of Cleveland State University."

"I am excited about the prospects of ending my coaching career at Cleveland State," Waters said. "I was brought here for a purpose, to not only revive this program but elevate both Cleveland State University and the City of Cleveland.

"The structure of this contract will allow us to do the things that we need to do as a program to make Cleveland State one of the best basketball programs in the country.

"I thank both President Dr. Michael Schwartz and Athletic Director Lee Reed for their confidence in me. I am a Viking," Waters added.

Waters, 57, joined the Viking program in the spring of 2006 after spending the previous five years at Rutgers. He has compiled a 31-34 mark in his two seasons at CSU, including a 21-13 record in 2007-08 that earned the Vikings their first post-season tournament bid in 20 seasons. For his effort, he was voted the Horizon League Co-Coach of the Year.

Last year, the Vikings became just the 16th program in NCAA history to go from losing 20 games in one season to winning 20 games the next, finished second in both the Horizon League regular season and postseason tournament and went on to play in the National Invitation Tournament (NIT).

Waters owns a 12-year head coaching record of 202-169 that includes six post-season tournament appearances.

Cleveland State returns four starters and eight lettermen from a year ago and enter the 2008-09 season as the favorite to win the Horizon League in a preseason poll of the coaches, sports information directors and media in the league.

Cleveland State opens the 2008-09 season at home against Oakland on Saturday, Nov. 15. Tickets for the upcoming season are available by calling (216) 687-4848.

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