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Episcopal Academy names former Princeton coach Bates as new coach

Tuesday, 5th July 2016

Categories Boy's/Men's, High School, Posted 7/5/16
From Press Release

The Episcopal Academy today announced that Christopher Bates will serve as the school’s Boys’ Varsity Lacrosse Coach.

Chris Bates

Chris Bates

Mr. Bates brings over two decades of collegiate-level coaching experience to Episcopal’s program, along with his experience as a professional player for 7 years with the Philadelphia Wings. During his time with the Philadelphia Wings, he assisted the organization in achieving three league championships and was named to the All-Pro Team.

For the past 17 years, Mr. Bates served in head coaching positions, for Princeton University and Drexel University. During his tenure, his teams celebrated five league or conference championships, appeared in two NCAA Tournaments, and many of his players earned prestigious athletic and academic accolades.

Bates was dismissed from his post at Princeton during the 2016 season following a review of an incident when Bates appeared to elbow a Yale player as he came off the field during an Ivy League loss at Brown.

Bates led Drexel to a 70-71 record during his 10 seasons as head coach there. He was an assistant coach at Drexel for five years. Bates began his coaching career in 1992 by starting the lacrosse program at Archbishop Ryan in Philadelphia.

Bates was in his seventh season as Princeton head coach, and he had a record of 53-42 with the Tigers. He led the team to the 2010, 2012 and 2015 Ivy League championships and to the 2010 and 2012 NCAA tournaments.

Bates replaces Andy Hayes, who announced he would resign during the season, his 12th as head coach.

“We are thrilled to welcome Chris to The Episcopal Academy community. After speaking with many of his former players and others in the lacrosse community who know him well, it was clear to us that Chris is an esteemed coach and dependable leader,” said Director of Athletics Gina Buggy. “We heard countless stories about the positive impact he has had on his former student athletes’ lives. We welcome Coach Bates and his family to our EA community where he will lead our boys’ lacrosse program and continue to make a positive impact on young peoples’ lives.”

Mr. Bates is also the founder of “Ann’s Love Builds” Foundation, a non-profit organization founded in honor of his late wife, which focuses on helping local underserved communities and supporting the building and operation of a hospital in Ghana, Africa.

He also co-founded Heritage Lacrosse and currently serves as the co-director of the Patriot Games Youth Tournament and the King of the Hill Recruiting Tournament.

Mr. Bates earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology from Dartmouth College, where he played lacrosse and served as captain, and his master’s degree in education and school psychology from the University of North Carolina.

“I have known Chris Bates personally for the past 10 years and closely followed his playing and coaching career for 10 more. As an EA parent and alum, I could not be more pleased that we attracted and retained a talent like Chris to energize our lacrosse community and to enhance our already dynamic faculty,” stated J. Matthew Bailer ’97, who played lacrosse during his time at Episcopal and who served on Episcopal’s search committee.

“Chris combines old-school Philadelphia Wings grit and toughness, with a level of professionalism, excellence, and innovation required to compete in the Inter-Ac and on the national level. As a leading voice among NCAA coaches to curb early recruiting practices and having lived the process at demanding academic institutions like Drexel and Princeton, he will be an advocate and mentor for our student-athletes, and their parents, as they look to play at the next level.”

Episcopal’s search committee was comprised of current coaches, teachers, alumni, and current and former parents who have close ties to the school’s lacrosse program. The national search garnered more than 60 applicants. After an extensive vetting process of the finalists, the committee recommended Bates for the head coaching position.

Episcopal’s lacrosse program has a strong history and has most recently placed among the top three teams in the Inter-Ac League, one of the most competitive leagues in the country, for the past four years. Throughout the past decade, the program has produced dozens of All-American, All-State and All-League players, many of whom are recruited to top colleges and universities to continue their lacrosse careers.

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