The Lady Bruin Basketball team will have a new coach for the ’18-19 season in Mitch Waters. Coach Waters is currently the Director of Operations at the Jay Community Center. He graduated at Jay County High School in 2002. While attending Jay County he played baseball, basketball, ran cross country, and participated on the swim team. He was an Honorable Mention All-State baseball player in 2002.
He played both baseball and basketball at Manchester University. While at Manchester he held Manchester’s save record and finished 2nd in the nation in saves in 2006. After graduating Manchester he played for two different professional baseball independent teams (Kalamazoo Kings and Chillicothe Paints) here in the U.S. and signed to play three years overseas in the Italian Baseball League (Sala Banganza and Novara). In 2010 he tried out and made the Indiana Rollers of the ABA which is now the Indianapolis Diesels of the PBL.
Coach Waters has coached many different sports on many different levels including varsity swimming and diving at Manchester High School, varsity assistant baseball at Fort Recovery High School, JV baseball at Manchester High School, girls basketball at East Jay Junior High and many other travel and rec league teams.
He and his wife Angie live in Portland and have 4 children Emma, Garrett, Jocelyn, and Alysia.
“Certainly we glad to have him on board. Coach Waters stood out in the interview process because he exuded a strong desire and passion for coaching and strong desire to turn around the girls program. He has a background of continued success and we hope the girls pick up on his enthusiasm for basketball and all that he does,” Athletic Director Tony Uggen remarked. “I had plenty of people share that he has done a great job with youth programs and, with his position in Jay County, there is hope that the two counties can work together to create more opportunities for our youth that don’t already exist,” Uggen added.
In responding to what interested him about the program, Waters quickly replied, “This was a great opportunity to build a program and start my coaching career. I am very excited, because I know that there is more potential in the entire program that hasn’t gotten tapped in to yet. I can tell that with all of the excitement that is surrounding the area with the boys basketball team, that Blackford is ready to support the entire sports program.”
What should Bruin fans expect to see from the new look Bruins? “We are going to rely on heavy pressure defense and try to create offense off of turnovers. We may not have the most skill of all teams at first, but we will be in shape and exciting to watch, Waters stated.
Coach Waters and the Lady Bruins have already started preparation for the ’18-19 season. “We have already started open gym for the girls so that I can get better acquainted with the players and recognize their strengths and weaknesses before we start practicing. I have developed individual workout for the players to do on their own. The emphasis is on ball handling, shooting, and running. If the girls put in the work this summer, there will be a noticeable difference next season,” Waters shared.
Waters concluded, “I hope these girls and the community are as excited for the season as I am. It is not going to happen overnight, but if we stay dedicated and push each other we will be successful. My goal is not only teach these girls the game of basketball, but I want them to continue life as a respected individual. Sports are such a small part of your life, so teaching them leadership, organization, and compassion for each other will carry them far more in their careers.