Ricky Watters, a member of the San Francisco 49ers’ 1994 Super Bowl championship squad, resigned from his duties as a high school football coach in Florida amid allegations he was physically and verbally abusive to his players.
Watters, a 49er from 1992-94, set a franchise record when he rushed for five touchdowns in a 44-3 playoff victory over the New York Giants on Jan. 15, 1994. But according to Fox Sports, Watters “pushed or jacked up” players during a Sept. 13 game and is also accused of using racial slurs.
It was Watters’ first season as head coach at Oak Grove (Fla.) High School. He was placed on indefinite leave when an investigation was launched on Sept. 20 and resigned Oct. 1.
“While there was some question about Watters’ behavior before the West Orange game, most of the statements reflect it was at that game where he lost control and behaved in a manner that players said they had never experienced before,” an investigative report stated. “Some players did share there were various incidents of physical roughness that were aggressive toward players and had nothing to do with football.”
Oak Ridge lost to West Orange 53-24 and the margin of defeat may have precipitated the incident. Players reportedly said they would quit the team if Watters remained coach.
Watters was a second round pick by the 49ers out of Notre Dame in 1991 and after missing the 1991 season because of a knee injury went on to rush for 2,840 yards and 25 touchdowns in three seasons in San Francisco. He also caught 140 passes for 1,450 and eight scores.
Watters left the 49ers after San Francisco’s 49-26 victory over the San Diego Chargers in Super Bowl XXIX to sign with the Philadelphia Eagles, where he played for three seasons and he played four years with the Seattle Seahawks before retiring after the 2001 season.
Watters is 20th on the NFL’s all-time rushing list with 10,643 yards and was a five-time Pro Bowl selection.