Tradition • Character • Service

Tradition • Character • Service

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Muddy inducted into Saginaw County Sports Hall of Fame

Former SVSU AD, football coach Muddy Waters elected to Saginaw County Sports Hall of Fame

by Hugh Bernreuter
Monday April 20, 2009, 10:40 PM

Saginaw Valley State University isn't exactly the college that Frank "Muddy" Waters built.

But it is the athletic program that Frank "Muddy" Waters built, so it was only appropriate that Saginaw County Sports Hall of Fame President Jack Tany announced the 2009 inductees in SVSU's Ryder Center Monday.

"My dad left Hillsdale because he was going to be able to build a football program the way he wanted it built," Muddy Waters son, Frank "Murky" Waters, said. "Saginaw Valley gave him that opportunity. It wasn't easy. He came here and there was no tradition, no upperclassmen."

Waters left Hillsdale after compiling a 138-47-5 record to coach at a university that did not have a football program. Five years later, Waters led SVSU to the Great Lake Intercollegiate Athletic Conference title.

"He was the athletic director and was able to build a program that included scholarships for basketball, men and women, scholarships for track and wrestling and bowling," Murky Waters said. "He was able to do a lot because he had direct access to the president."

But after the 1979 season, Muddy Waters left SVSU for Michigan State University. He had a 24-26-2 record at SVSU and a three-year record of 10-23 at MSU.

"He had to take the job ... it was his alma mater," Murky Waters said. "But when he went to Michigan State, he hung out with legislators and he kept pushing Saginaw Valley. He would tell them there's this place in Saginaw that's desperate for money. Their facilities are embarrassing.

"He saw this place before he died and was very happy."

Joining Waters in the 2009 class are fastpich player Dave "Tuck" Bedford, former Central Michigan University quarterback Pat Boyd, former three-sport star at Arthur Hill Art Gelow, former Douglas MacArthur swimmer Wade King, Means Stamping manager Wendell Nehmer, former Arthur Hill swimmer Howard Patterson, former Bridgeport volleyball player Terri Phillion-Dulude, former St. Andrew's football player Mike Walderzak and the 1946-47-48 SS. Peter & Paul's basketball teams.

King took a flight from Columbia, S.C., to attend Monday's announcement and will return for the induction ceremony and banquet, Sunday, Nov. 8, at Horizons Conference Center.

"I wasn't going to miss this," King said. "It was a great excuse to come back home and see friends and family. It's an incredible honor."

Anyone interested in buying tickets to the banquet can call Jan Pope at 777-5363 or e-mail her at Tickets are $40.

Tany also announced that the Hall of Fame has changed the name of the annual Saginaw County Athletes of the Year award, which went to the top high school athletes in Saginaw County. Tany said the award is called the Dr. Tom Slade Award, named after former Saginaw High and Michigan quarterback Tom Slade, who died in 2006.

Hugh Bernreuter is assistant sports editor for The Saginaw News. You may reach him at 776-9771 or e-mail him at

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