SAGINAW, Mich. -- Frank "Muddy" Waters, the College
Football Hall of Fame coach who had a successful run at Hillsdale
College and finished his long career at Michigan State, died
Wednesday. He was 83.
Waters died of congestive heart failure in Saginaw, where he had
lived several months at an assisted living facility after moving
from the Lansing area, Hillsdale spokesman Brad Monastiere said.
Waters coached at Hillsdale from 1954 through 1973, spent the
following five seasons at Saginaw Valley State, then was head coach
at Michigan State from 1980 through 1982.
Hillsdale won the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association
championship in each of Waters' first seven years there. His 1955
team went 9-0 and gained national recognition for refusing to play
in the Tangerine Bowl when bowl officials said the team's black
players couldn't dress for the game in Orlando, Fla.
Waters' record at Hillsdale was 138-47-5. He started the Saginaw
Valley State football program and led the Cardinals to a 24-26-2
record in five seasons.
Waters finished his coaching career at his alma mater, Michigan
State, where his Spartans went 10-23 in three seasons.
"Muddy was a true Spartan," Michigan State athletic director
Ron Mason said. "He was a caring, wonderful person who represented
himself, his program, our university well to our alumni and our
fans. We're deeply saddened by his passing, and all of our thoughts
are with Muddy's family and friends in this difficult time."
Waters was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in
2000. He also was a member of the National Association of
Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame and was named NAIA coach of
the year in 1957, when Hillsdale lost 27-26 to Pittsburg State in
the national championship game.
Waters is survived by three sons. He was preceded in death by
his wife, Mary Lou, and another son.
Funeral arrangements were incomplete. A memorial service was
being planned at the Hillsdale campus, where the football stadium
is named for Waters, Monastiere said.