Coach charged with battery had long list of accolades
Michael Paul Waters was known for being an accomplished soccer and football coach and teacher at South Aiken High School.
However gifted he may be on the field and in the classroom, Waters was charged last week with five counts of sexual battery with a student and placed in the Aiken County detention center. He is now out on bond.
A graduate of Midland Valley High School, Waters has been the head coach of the boys soccer team since 2003. He has racked up 211 wins.
His 200th win came earlier this year in a 10-0 win over Midland Valley.
When the game was over, Waters was presented with a bouquet of flowers and a ball autographed by his players to commemorate the milestone.
“It ain't because of me. There's a lot of people working hard behind the scenes to help us have this success,” Waters, who has won two state titles at South Aiken and another at Williston-Elko, said at the time. “I've never claimed to be a good soccer coach. It's just a lot of hard work. A lot of blood, sweat and tears to try and build an overall program, not just a good team year in, year out. I like to think we're a quality program.”
Waters has been placed on paid administrative leave, said Bill Burkhalter, attorney for the Aiken County Public School District.
The school district, Burkhalter added, is conducting its own investigation into the allegations.
It is unclear if Waters will return to the school to coach the team again.
“Moving forward, we're going to do what's best for the program, and a decision will be made in the near future,” said Bob Polewski, South Aiken athletic director.
Overall, Waters racked up approximately 300 wins as head coach, won the 2005 Class AAAA State Championship at South Aiken and the 2010 Class AAA Lower State Championship, among others.