Spartanburg, S.C. – Over the years, basketball coaches throughout the country have engaged in conversations with former USC Upstate head men's basketball coach Jerry Waters about the game of basketball. With the release of his coaching biography, "Born to be a Coach," Waters tells his tale of coaching basketball for hoops junkies of all ages to read. He will be in the Hodge Center Saturday for his first book signing when the current Spartans take on Texas-San Antonio in a 2:00 p.m. start.
Waters amassed a 364-133 record in 17 years as head coach at Upstate, then known as the USC Spartanburg Rifles. He coached the team to the NAIA National Championship in 1982, won three NAIA District Six championships, two Peach Belt Conference regular season titles and advanced to the NCAA Division II Tournament three times. His teams were a phenomenal 193-30 at the Hodge Center, including a 50-game winning streak from February 1989 to February 1993. A member of the Upstate Athletics Hall of Fame, he coached nine players who have joined him in the shrine, including Odell Cleveland, who wrote and published the book about Waters' coaching life.
In addition to his 17-year stint as head coach at Upstate, Waters coached on the high school level at Middleton in Charleston, S.C., where he got his coaching start and went on to win four state championships and was named the South Carolina Coach of the Year three times. He coached at the University of the South for two years prior to coming to Upstate in 1980. He left Upstate in 1997 to become assistant coach at the University Georgia. After his stint in Athens, he was the head boys coach at Pinewood Christian Academy in Georgia before finishing his career back in Spartanburg as the head boys coach at Chapman High School.
Waters and Cleveland joined together to write a book about Waters' life in coaching. "Born to be a Coach" captures his passion for the sport and his desire for his players to succeed on and off the court. There are anecdotes about his coaching life and stories from others in the coaching profession about the impact Waters has had in the coaching community.
Waters will host a book signing of "Born to be a Coach" Saturday afternoon starting at 1:00 p.m. in the Hodge Center. Fans can purchase copies of the book at the Hodge Center, as well as the commemorative DVD. Waters will also be recognized at halftime of the game against Texas-San Antonio, which starts at 2:00.