With a new year comes a new coach. The Men’s Basketball team announced early this summer that former boy’s head coach from Stanford, Stan Waterman will now become Hornets very own Head Coach. With eight state championships under his belt from his former school, Waterman is hopeful in taking our Men to the next level. There is still a lot to learn coming from high school players to college, but Waterman knows that the only way for our Men to be the best is to work hard and practice.
Below is the text from my interview with Mr. Stan Waterman.
Q- Where were you born and what was your upbringing like?
A- My name is Stanley “Stan” Waterman. I am the Head Coach for the Men’s Basketball Team. I am a native Delawarean, born and raised in the city of Wilmington, Delaware. Went to high school at Howard High School in Wilmington. My collegiate career was at the University of Delaware. And then I’ve worked here and coached at the Sanford School for the last 29 years. Born and raised in Delaware through and through, I am excited to be here.
Q- Who has been the greatest influence in your life that has impacted the man/woman you are today?
A- There are alot of people who poured into me, but in terms of the greatest influence I would have to say my parents. My mother and father were always there and taught me the value of hard work, discipline and respect and those are the values that I carry with me in coaching.
Q- What about your family?
A- My family is very supportive, a very large family. I have six siblings who also reside here in Delaware. We are a very close family. My immediate family, my wife, and my daughter Paris and I have a new grandson who is 18 months old Cairo, who is my latest and greatest joy. But a very close knit, supportive family and involved you will see them become a part of the Delaware State community very soon.
Q- Can you tell us of your education history and what your goals or life ambition was when you were a student in High School/College?
A- I never thought that I would be doing anything for 30 years and I ended up being an educator for 30 years. And I would go back to my high school days and my goals and dreams were to go to Law school after finishing basketball, but that didn’t work out. I ended up as a social worker for three to four years being involved with families. And then in education the past 29 years. Teaching is coaching and coaching is an extension of teaching in the classroom. Which is something I enjoy which I hope to continue to do as long as I can.
Q- Can you tell us of your job/education experience prior to what you’re doing now?
A- It’s a carryover. The same work ethic, same dedication and discipline that it takes to be successful working in athletics is the same thing in life. You have to have a great work ethic, positive approach, and work well with people. It’s an easy transition to carry those things over into athletics and other aspects and remls of your life you will be successful.
Q- What was the most memorable point at that job/school?
A- The most memorable part is properly the people. The people that you come in contact with. Being a high school coach for so long every four years it was a turn over. Although the faces changed, the relationships were pretty similar. Building relationships and being able to mentor, teach, advise. I really enjoyed that part.
Q- Is this where you thought you’d be 5 or so years ago?
A- Never thought I would be here at Delaware State. I am a University of Delaware alumn and as a native of Delaware I am very familiar with Delaware State University. I just never thought of that as a possibility and when the opportunity became available I was very excited and I am very happy to be here.
Q- What informed your decision on doing what you’re doing now?
A- One of my biggest influence to come to Delaware State was the leadership that Dr. Tony Allen is providing. HBCUs across the country are hot right now and the leadership of Dr. Allen and his team have provided and the great things that are happening in Dover caught my interest and excited me. Again once the opportunity came available I was very interested and very happy to have a chance to do that.
Q- What are your plans for the future?
A- My plans for the future I like to say “I keep one eye in the telescope and one eye in the microscope.” My short term goal right now is to get this basketball program turned around and headed in the right direction. Long term I can’t even think about right now, because that is where my focus is. I want to keep it on short term goals and try to have as much success as we can and just build on that.
Q- What kind of advice would you offer a student, who is undecided on his or her career path?
A- When I was in undergraduate it wasn’t until my sophomore year when I declared a major and decided what I wanted to do. Any time you are on a college campus or post secondary education its relationships and dealing with people no matter what you choose as a career you are going to have to interact with people, how to work well with people, get along with people from different backgrounds. Which is the most important along with learning how to study and learning how to be a strong self advocate and how to communicate those are all important. But it is really about relationship building.
Q- How would you describe the state of higher education in America today?
A- It’s very complex. I would love to see a bit more consistency in terms of you still have the have and the have- nots and it is sorta disappointing that there is such a difference. I would love for there to be much more consistency in terms of everybody having equal opportunity to get an education. I think we are headed in the right direction, but we still have a long way to go.
Q- Have you ever travelled outside of the United States? Where, and how does life outside compare to that in the US?
A- I have, it primarily was for domestic travel. I had the opportunity to coach the USA Junior National and for the past two or three summers prior to covid traveled outside of the country each summer to compete and actually just experience different cultures and see what the world has to offer. When you talk about the United States and democracy and some of the opportunities and things that we have that are available to us you properly take it for granted unless you have the opportunity to leave the country and to see what other people are dealing with.
Q- What does the future hold for America?
A- I have no idea. We have a lot of work to do as a nation, country. I think a lot of tough work is being done. We have some strong leadership in our government right now. We have some major issues that we need to address economy, health you name it we got alot to tackle. But I think we are headed in the right direction.
Q- Are you interested in politics? If no, why not? What is your take on the state of politics and the future of the American democracy?
A- I really don’t have any interest in politics. And the difficulty in that is always a two sided coin, no matter where you fall with the decision on an issue or policy there’s the opposite opinion or different perspective.
Q- How are you responding to the outbreak of the Convid-19 virus?
A- The outbreak of Covid- 19, this pandemic that we have been in for the past 18 months is unbelievable. There is so much uncertainty and no one really understands what exactly is going on, no one really understands the long term effects whether you are talking about the vaccine or not having the vaccination. There are just so many uncertainties it’s pretty scary. Particularly as a parent and grand-parent you worry about the long term outcomes. And again just not knowing is properly the scariest thing.
Q- How did you handle the stay-at-home order?
A- Where I was we actually didn’t have a stay at home order. I’m coming from Sanford School which was a private school, so we were actually in person. It was really difficult for me having a family and other folks who were at home to be going outside of the home everyday. Again that was worrisome. I tried to do the best that I could to follow all the advice from the Center of Disease Control (CDC), and all the professionals on how to be safe.
Q- What about virtual learning or telecommuting?
A- We had a combination of virtual learning and in-person learning and I think being an administrator and seeing how difficult it was for teachers to try to produce a curriculum for both being in person or to use swivel which students had access from home, it was really difficult. But we did a very nice job and in the end I think everyone was satisfied with the outcome.
Q- What keeps you going during these trying times?
A- What keeps me going is the opportunity to be around young people, keeps you young. I say young people and I say that for college students and student athletes and being athletic and coaching and trying to stay fit. Just trying to stay young and young at heart.
Q- How can the government better handle the situation?
A- The government can better handle, if I could offer a suggestion or idea it would really be more about consistency. Properly we may have to give up some of our personal freedoms and rights just to be able to get a handle on the pandemic. We may have to sacrifice some of the things we consider our own privileges for the safety of everyone involved.
Q- What are your hobbies or extracurricular activities?
A- My hobbies and extracurricular activities would be that I enjoy reading, I am sotra a movie buff and anything that is sports related I am always interested (Basketball, Football, Baseball). I am a huge Cowboys fan.
Q- How would you describe your philosophy of life? That is, how do you see this life and what principles get you grounded and moving forward?
A- My philosophy on life I already touched a little bit on my theory on what displicpline means and how important it is to be disciplined. But I also think about what you put into it is what you will get out of it and you won’t get anything more than that. I also talk about the people you surround yourself with. That’s really important, because when you are in high pressure situations and you are squeezed, what comes out of you is what’s really in you. But when you surround yourself with people who have great goals,values, respect and manners and things like that nine times out of ten you will be in pretty good shape. I also think about my belief in God. My spiritual beliefs and my family beliefs I was raised in the church. God is the reason why all things are happening for us.
Q- How would you describe yourself to the world?
Complete the sentence: I am…
A- I am Blessed. I have had some tremendous opportunities throughout my lifetime as a youngster, asan adult, as a husband, father, brother, coach. I have had so many people pour things into me and I try to do that and reciprocate that and be able to share and pour into people who are now coming up behind me. I would finish that off by saying “I am blessed and highly favored.”
Stan Waterman wants to leave his impact on and off the court by showing his hard work and dedication, not only through his players but his coaching style to get our Men’s basketball team that well deserved championship that is well overdue.