CLEVELAND — The Cleveland State men’s basketball team will have a new coach on the bench when it takes the court next season.
After a loss to Youngstown State at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit brought to an end a 9-22 season in the first round of the Horizon League Championship Tournament last Friday, Gary Waters will not return as the coach of the Vikings, bringing to an end more than a decade-long run with the school.
Waters spent 11 seasons at the helm of the Vikings’ men’s basketball program, helping return Cleveland State to prominence in the Horizon League and back to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1987 when it qualified for the national championship tournament in 2009.
Waters won 194 games at Cleveland State, posting a 194-172 record over his 11 seasons, six of which ended in postseason appearances, including NIT invitations in 2008, 2011 and 2012, the NCAA bid in 2009, and a pair of Collegiate Basketball Invitational berths in 2014 and 2015.
Waters led the Vikings to their first two trips to the Horizon League Championship Game, including a 2009 win over the Butler Bulldogs on the road. Subsequently, as a 13-seed in the NCAA Tournament after winning the Horizon League, the Vikings upset fourth-seeded Wake Forest in the first round.
During his time with the program, Waters guided the Vikings to five wins against nationally-ranked opponents. Prior to his arrival, the Vikings went 1-24 against ranked opponents. One of those five wins came against Vanderbilt in the 2011-2012 season opener, and No. 7 Commodores remain the highest-ranked opponent ever beaten by Cleveland State.
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Article Courtesy of WKYC Channel 3 News Cleveland
Picture Courtesy of Garrett Ellwood and Getty Images