A rising star in major college coaching, Rutgers University's Gary Waters got his start at Ferris after a successful playing career. He was an NAIA All-District selection as a player and in two years led the team to a 47-10 record under Coach Jim Wink. As a senior, he averaged 12.4 points and 5.7 rebounds per game for the 1973-74 Great Lakes Conference champions while earning all-conference honors. Waters also helped the Bulldogs garner a NAIA National Tournament berth as a junior.
Gary served as an assistant coach for 14 seasons at Ferris under Wink and later Tom Ludwig. He then joined Eastern Michigan University as an assistant and later associate head coach from 1989-96. Hired in 1996 by Kent State, he led the Golden Flashes to three post-season berths and was twice named Mid-American Conference Coach of the Year. Kent reached its first NCAA Tournament in 1999, advanced to the National Invitational Tournament's Elite Eight in 2000 and upset Indiana in the first round of the 2001 "Big Dance." Waters took the job at Rutgers University in April, 2001 and his Scarlet Knights went 18-12, beat a school-record four Top 25 foes and made the NIT. The United States Basketball Writer's Association honored him as the District II Coach of the Year. The Detroit native was an all-city basketball, football and track athlete at MacKenzie High School.