TAMPA, Fla. -- Andre Waters, a defensive back who spent most
of his 12 seasons in the NFL with the Philadelphia Eagles, was
found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound early Monday. He was
His body was found at about 1:30 a.m. at his Tampa home, the
medical examiner's office said. He had shot himself in the head.
Toxicology reports were ordered and results will be available in
four to six weeks, the office said.
Waters' body was found by his girlfriend, Hillsborough County
sheriff's spokeswoman Debbie Carter said. The woman's name was not
available, and the sheriff's office had no further details, Carter
"What a devastating piece of news," Eagles radio voice Merrill
Reese said in a statement on the team's Web site. "Andre was a
guy who could light up a room with his personality. As a
football player, he came from nothing. But he made himself into
a fine player by working hard and dedicating himself to the
Waters, an assistant football coach at Fort Valley State in
Georgia, joined the Eagles out of Cheyney State in 1984 and played
with them at cornerback and safety through 1993. He was known as
one of the NFL's hardest hitters and often was fined for some of
his tackles. He spent his last two seasons with the Arizona
Tennessee Titans coach Jeff Fisher, who worked with Waters in
Philadelphia, called his death a tragic loss.
"The personnel staff there when we got here said, 'This guy
will never play for you. He'll never play for you.' And he proved
everybody wrong," Fisher said. "He had a huge heart, and this is
"Everybody has been in such shock," Fort Valley State
spokeswoman Cindy Gambill said.
Waters was in his first year coaching at the school. Many
students, including football players, are not on campus this week
because of Thanksgiving.
Football coach Deondri Clark lauded Waters for an
"outstanding" college career that enabled him to make the NFL.
Waters, who was born in Belle Glade, also coached at Morgan
State, South Florida and Alabama State before coming to Fort Valley
State this summer.
Funeral arrangements are incomplete.
The Associated Press and SportsTicker contributed to this report.