Union, N.J (2/23/15) - Hawley Waterman, former Kean University director of athletics and founder of six sports at the University, passed away this weekend at the age of 84.
In addition to founding the football and men's lacrosse programs at the Union, New Jersey school, Waterman served as both teams' inaugural head coaches and held the men's lacrosse position for 25 years.
"In my personal life, he did so much for me as a college student that I can never repay. Without him, I would not be doing what I am today. Aside from my father, he was probably the most influential man in my life. Most people are not fortunate enough to know a man like Hawley Waterman. I was blessed to have had him in my life for 25 years."- Shelley Sheiner, current head coach, men's lacrosse, Kean University.
Waterman was hired at Kean (then called Newark State College) in 1970 as a mathematics professor and the first full-time director of athletics in the school's history. In that first school year, he founded the football and men's lacrosse teams and became the pioneering head coach of each.
He remained at the helm of the lacrosse program for the next quarter-century, earning 201 career wins, four Knickerbocker Conference Championships and two Eastern College Athletic Conference Championships. Waterman coached four Kean players who appeared in the prestigious North-South Game, including Robert Blakely, the first player in conference history to receive an invitation to play.
In just his fourth season at the helm of the program, Waterman's team made its first postseason appearance, won the Knickerbocker Conference Championship and reached the ECAC Tournament. The team repeated as Knickerbocker Champions the next season.
The Cougars (Squires) posted winning records in all but four of his remaining years on the sidelines and captured the Knickerbocker Championships in 1980 and 1993. Kean also won back-to-back ECAC titles in 1990 and 1991.
Waterman was a great student of the game, and quite literally wrote the book on it when he published an instruction manual for lacrosse called "A Compilation of Lacrosse Extra-Man Plays Against Varied Defenses."
Always an educator first, he was proud to have never cut a single player during his career on the sidelines. His coaching tree reaches nationwide, includes current Kean head coach Shelley Sheiner and Kean assistant coach Mike Cleary, and is especially dense in New Jersey. Waterman was inaugurated into the first class of the New Jersey Chapter of the Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 1997. The Garden State Legend also coached the New Jersey Lacrosse Men's Club School and has the honor of a New Jersey boy's high school lacrosse conference named after him.
"Coach Waterman was, first and foremost, a wonderful guy. Always calm and level-headed, he was a great mentor. Perhaps his greatest attribute - and what maybe his greatest legacy - was the way he was able to shape and develop young men into leaders. So many of his players went on to become coaches that his influence will be felt in New Jersey forever. He is Kean lacrosse. We are all carrying the torch he gave us." - Mike Cleary, Kean Hall of Famer, member of the original men's lacrosse and football teams, current assistant coach, men's lacrosse, Kean University.
As an administrator at Kean, Waterman began not just the football and men's lacrosse teams, but also the women's soccer, softball, wrestling and ice hockey programs at the University. As athletic director, he oversaw the founding of the Benisch Kean University Athletic Hall of Fame at Kean in 1981. He himself was enshrined in the Kean University Athletic Hall of Fame in 1988.
After ending his coaching career in 1994, Waterman continued as Kean's associate athletic director in charge of coordinating academic assistance for student-athletes. While he was at Kean he also served as the secretary of the New Jersey State College Athletic Conference (now known as the NJAC) for 15 years.
As Newark State's football coach, Waterman led the Squires (as they were then known) to a 4-2 record in that first season in 1970, no small feat at a small school with a female-majority population as it was in those days.
Prior to arriving in Union, Waterman served his country in the U.S. Marine Corps. He reached the rank of lance corporal and earned appointments to the U.S. Naval Academy Prep School, the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and eventually the United States Naval Academy. He attended the Naval Academy in Annapolis for two years before an injury ended his military career. He transferred to Springfield (Massachusetts) College, where he graduated in 1954.
After earning his degree, he taught for two years in Maryland before moving to New Jersey to become the athletic director at the Hun School. He is the father of that school's lacrosse program as well.
Waterman was predeceased by his wife, Dorothy, in 2011. He is survived by four children; both boys played lacrosse at Kean.
A memorial service will be held at Lighthouse Pointe on Saturday, February 28th at 2:00 p.m.
933 Cedar Road
Chesapeake, Va. 23322