Rod Waters, enters his fifth season as head coach of the Trine University men’s and women’s track and field teams. Waters tenure at Trine University has seen rapid transformation.
In his first season (2013-14) at the helm of the program, Waters and Thunder produced five school records, two First Team All-MIAA, three NCAA DIII All-Americans, and one Capital One Academic All-District First Team honor. Waters was responsible for guiding Tyler Bourdo to a school record in the outdoor 200-meter dash and indoor 400-meter dash, All-MIAA and NCAA DIII Indoor and Outdoor All American honors. The Thunder also produced 800-meter indoor All-American Trisha King, who was also a NCAA National Championship qualifier in the same event during the 2014 outdoor season.
During his second season (2014-2015), Trine's men’s and women’s Track and Field teams improve immensely. Waters witnessed 21 new school records. The Thunder teams obtained 12 First Team All-MIAA honors, two NCAA DIII All-American honors, one Capital One Academic All-American honor. During the indoor campaign, Waters lead Tyler Bourdo to his third NCAA DIII All American honor. The Thunder also produced an All-American in Kara Eck (weight throw). The outdoor season saw the men's track and field capped off the most impressive outdoor season in program history. Waters led the Men’s team to a second-place finish, their best finish in the MIAA conference since joining in 2005. Waters produced conference champions in the 100, 200, and 400-meter dashes as well as in the 4-x-100-meter and 4-x-400-meter relays. In the process, athletes under Waters tutelage accounted for 99.5 of the teams 182.5 points. The second-place finish was a three-place improvement from the 2014 team's performance. Waters was also responsible for coaching the MIAA Most Valuable Track Athlete. The women's team also made huge strides with All-MIAA performer and a sixth-place finish. During the outdoor season the Thunder produced two NCAA DIII National Championship qualifiers.
In his third season (2015-2016), Waters led the Men’s Track and Field program to new heights, as the men's team won their first conference title and produced six new school records, six First Team All-MIAA, one NCAA DIII All-American, one CoSIDA Academic All-District, one CoSIDA Academic All-American and seven USTFCCCA-All Region honors. 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 at the MIAA Indoor Conference Championship won four individual titles and the MIAA Most Valuable Field Athlete. On the women’s side Waters witnessed the women produced six school records, five First Team All- MIAA, four USTFCCCA All- Region, and, for the second straight season, Kara Eck earned All-America honors during the indoor season (shot put) and outdoor season (hammer throw).
The 2016-2017, Waters' fourth season at the helm saw the women’s team make huge leaps and bounds. The women capped off the best season to date with a third place at the MIAA Indoor Conference Championship and fourth place finish at the MIAA Outdoor Conference Championship. Both finishes would be the best ever since joining the league in 2005. The ’16-17 indoor and outdoor seasons saw the women’s team produced 10 new school records, five All-MIAA, one NCAA DIII All-American and five USTFCCCA All-Region honors. Waters coached conference champions in the 400-meter and 4-x-400-meter relay. On the men’s side, the team finished in second place at both the MIAA Indoor and Outdoor Conference Championships, totaling four school records, 10 All-MIAA honors, one NCAA DIII All-American and three USTFCCCA All-Region honors. Waters coached indoor conference champions in the 60-meter, 200-meter and long jump, and outdoor conference champions in 100-meter, 200-meter, long jump and 4-x-100-meter relay. Waters led long jumper Jeffery Barnett to NCAA DIII All American status, USTFCCCA Regional Athlete of the Year, USTFCCCA All Region and the MIAA Most Valuable Field Athlete honors. Waters would coach Barnett to the sixth farthest long jump (7.61m) in NCAA Division III Indoor track and field history.
Prior to Trine University, Waters coached 3 season at NCAA DI mid major Indiana Purdue Fort Wayne (IPFW) where he lead his athletes to 6 school records. While at NAIA powerhouse Indiana Tech, Waters coached 20 NAIA National Championship qualifiers, seven NAIA All-Americans, and 10 school records. 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 IHSAA State Championship qualifiers, & 13 IHSAA All-state athletes.
Waters attended and graduated from Wayne High School in 2004 and hold holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Indiana Tech. As an athlete, Waters garnered 8 All-American honors and in 2008, he was crowned the NAIA National Champion in the 110m high hurdles. Waters is a certified USTFCCCA sprints, hurdles and relay specialist as well as a USATF Level II certified in the sprints, hurdles, relays.