PISCATAWAY, NJ – Rutgers head men’s basketball coach Gary Waters has signed a two-year contract extension that will keep him “On the Banks” through 2010, Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Robert E. Mulcahy III has announced. On the eve of his fourth season at Rutgers, Waters inked a seven-year contract when he was hired after a successful five-year stint as the head coach at Kent State.
“ Gary has done a superb job of guiding and improving our men’s basketball program in his three years at Rutgers,” Mulcahy said. “This past season, Waters led us to Rutgers’ first 20-win season in more than 20 years and to the title game of the NIT. This marked the first time in school history that Rutgers has appeared in the championship game of a national tournament.”
“ I respect and commend Gary for his leadership skills, for fostering a true family environment within the program, and for being such a positive role model,” Mulcahy continued. “We are extremely happy about extending Gary’s contract to continue the stability and success that he has brought to Rutgers basketball.”
“ I am very happy that we were able agree on this contract extension,” said Waters. “We are in the process of building a championship caliber program here at Rutgers and I am grateful to Bob Mulcahy, President Richard McCormick, the Board of Governors, the Board of Trustees, and the entire Rutgers administration for their support. I look forward to many more years here at Rutgers and envision even greater success in the years to come. My goal is to transform Rutgers University into a perennial NCAA Tournament program and I firmly believe we are progressing in that direction.”
Waters, who has a 50-42 record at Rutgers, has guided the Scarlet Knights to victories over seven nationally-ranked opponents in his three seasons at the helm of the program. Last year's excitement marked the second time Rutgers advanced to the NIT in the three-year Waters Era. The 20-13 record was the Scarlet Knights' first 20-win season since 1982-83.
Waters also led Rutgers to an NIT appearance in his first season “On the Banks”, where he guided the Knights to an 18-13 mark in 2001-02. Following that season, Waters picked up a pair of prestigious honors, being named the Metropolitan Writers Association Coach of the Year as well as the District II (NJ, NY, DE, DC) Coach of the Year by the United States Basketball Writer's Association (USBWA).
Turning programs around is nothing new for Waters. Prior to his hiring at Rutgers on April 6, 2001,Waters spearheaded a major turnaround at Kent State University, where he led the Golden Flashes to two NCAA tournaments and one NIT in his five-year tenure.