Rod Waters, a former NAIA national champion, enters his third season as head coach of the Trine University men’s and women’s track and field teams. Waters specializes in the hurdles, sprints, relays and jump events. He is USATF level 2 certified in the sprints, hurdles, relays.
Under Waters, the 2016 Trine men's track and field team captured the inaugural MIAA Indoor Track and Field Championship in Trine's own Keith E. Busse/Steel Dynamics Athletic Recreation Center. The men's team won four individual titles and were led by MIAA Most Valuable Field Athlete Sam Gilly. For the second straight season, Kara Eck earned All-America honors during the indoor season, this time with her effort in the shot put. She would go on to earn All-America honors in the hammer throw during the outdoor season. Trine performers combined for five national championship appearances during the 2015-16 seasons.
In 2014 Waters’ first season, the Thunder produced three NCAA DIII All-American performances. Waters was responsible for coaching Indoor and Outdoor 400-meter All-American Tyler Bourdo. The Thunder also produced 800-Meter Indoor All-American Trisha King, who was also a national qualifier in the event during the 2014 Outdoor season.
Under Waters guidance, the 2015 Trine track and field programs improve immensely. In Waters’ second season the programs rosters were built up to competitive levels, as a result the programs combined for 21 new school records. During the Indoor season the Thunder produced three national qualifiers, garnering two All-American honors. Waters was responsible for coaching 400-meter Indoor All-American Tyler Bourdo. The Thunder also produced Weight Throw Indoor All-American Kara Eck. The momentum carried to the outdoor season, as the men's track and field capped off one of the most impressive outdoor seasons in program history, with its best-ever finish in the MIAA, as the Thunder placed second. Athletes under Waters tutelage accounted for 99.5 of the teams 182.5 points. Furthermore Waters was responsible for coaching the MIAA Most Valuable Track Athlete and three of the four All-MIAA performers. The women's team also made strides with an All-MIAA performer and a sixth-place finish. During the outdoor season the Thunder produced 2 national qualifiers.
In Waters’ first season of collegiate action, Waters coached 20 NAIA national qualifiers, 3 individual NAIA All-Americans, 1 men’s 4x400m NAIA All-American honors. Before coming to Trine, Waters was an assistant coach at NCAA DI Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne for three seasons. Prior to joining the college ranks, Waters coached girls cross country and both boys and girls track and field at the high school level. During his time at the high school ranks, Waters coached 15 state qualifiers, 13 Indiana All-state athletes.
As an athlete, Waters garnered eight All-American honors and in 2008, he was crowned the NAIA national champion by winning the 110m hurdles.
A Fort Wayne native, Waters graduated from Wayne High School in 2004. Waters holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Indiana Tech.