Meet Coach Waters: Fossil’s new head track and field coach

Monica Jarosz, Staff Writer

Aaron Waters is not a new name heard around Fossil Ridge High School. Waters has coached football, wrestling, cross country, and trained athletes in sprint, relay, and hurdle events for track and field. Last week, his newest coaching title was announced and Waters has become Fossil’s new head track and field coach.

This year was also Coach Waters’ (second from the left) first year helping coach Fossil cross country. (Tara Wangen)

Waters has had a passion for coaching and mentoring since he was 19 years old. Waters moved to Fort Collins to attend Colorado State University. After deciding he was not quite ready to be in college, he was introduced to Fossil’s athletic department at a high school football game. He was there with his nephew who was wearing a University of Nebraska hat. Fossil’s wrestling coach at the time was attending the event; he saw the hat and commented “Go Big Red.” After sparking a conversation and talking further with the coach, Waters’ involvement with Fossil began.

Waters is now in his 11th year at Fossil. In addition to coaching, Waters recently completed his master’s degree in counseling. “Both with counseling and with coaching, it’s just all about helping the youth of our community,” Waters adds. 

When it comes to Fossil’s track and field program, Waters has goals for the team in both  competitive and personal development aspects. “Our girls won conference last year… so the goal this year is to win again and to win by even more,” Waters says. Last year, there were several strong throwers for the boys team, many of whom graduated. The boys team ultimately ended up placing ninth at state. “The goal there is to win conference and then place higher at state than we did last year with three individuals,” explains Waters.

Behind the personal development aspect of Waters’ goals is the phrase “Play Track.” The whole meaning behind this phrase is joy. Having joy during tough workouts, sharing joy with each other at practices and meets, and all the joy in between. “It’s kind of a silly thing because you usually hear ‘run track’… you hear play baseball, play football, play basketball. And the idea of ‘play’ is based on the joy we want,” Waters says.

Coach Waters talking to student athletes following their competition. (Tara Wangen)

Beyond having pride in “playing” track, Waters keeps respect, integrity, and competition as the driving force for his coaching. When speaking on respect, Waters wants all the athletes he coaches to respect the community as a whole which includes the school, the track stadiums they visit, their peers, the coaching staff, and the sport itself. Through integrity, Waters wants the track and field program to always do what is right, even if it is not the easier choice. And finally, with competition, being prepared and ready when meet day arrives. 

Waters is looking forward to not just mentoring and helping develop the youth of track at Fossil and of the community, but he is excited to grow as a coach and help his fellow coaches do the same. Waters mentions, “I don’t know that my ways are the right way. But, we’re going to have a ‘why’ in everything we do. That’s going to help these coaches become better coaches and that’s going to help me become a better coach.”

Congratulations to Coach Waters on his newest position. We are excited to see how track and field competes this year.