Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 7/6/16
Episcopal Academy sent positive shockwaves throughout the lacrosse community Tuesday by naming former Princeton and Drexel coach Chris Bates as its head coach. (Click here for full article on his hiring.)
But Bates actually began his coaching career on a whim, all the way back in 1993 when he saw a newspaper ad for the head coaching job at Archbishop Ryan, which was looking to start its program in the Philadelphia Catholic League. Bates got the job (for $600) and spent one year there before becoming a part-time assistant at Drexel.
Before taking that job, Bates – a native of West Chester County (N.Y.) who played at Dartmouth College – had come to Philly only after earning a roster spot with the Philadelphia Wings. To survive he took some odd jobs, including selling ads for the Phillies scorebook, and delivering office catalogs around the city.
Bates’ amazing history is chronicled in a fact-filled blog story posted 6 and a half years ago on GoPrinceton.com after starting his career at Princeton.
Bates, an attackman who starred in lacrosse and football at John Jay High School, played seven years with the Wings, on which two of his teammates were John McEvoy (Malvern Prep coach) and John Nostrant (Haverford School coach) – who now will be his rivals in the Inter-Ac League.
The blog article notes that Bates was a two-time All-Ivy selection at Dartmouth who gained a degree in Psychology and worked for a major advertising agency in New York City out of college before deciding he was not meant to be spending his working days behind a desk. He soon drove cross country to watch 32 Major League Baseball games and made the Wings team the morning after attending a
convert the previous night at Madison Square Garden.
Perhaps the most interesting point in the blog was a comment made by former Pennsbury coach Jamie Huber, a member of Bates’ 1993 team at Ryan.
“I was a brand-new player that year,” Huber said in the blog. “I had never seen an outdoor lacrosse game before. Chris was brand-new, but he never had a problem teaching the game to us. He’s one of the greatest coaches I’ve ever known, and he’s really helped drive the passion that I have had for the game. He’s been a great mentor and great friend. He’s someone I really admire.”
Bates served as Drezel’s head coach for 10 years, posting a 70-71 record, before taking the job at Princeton to replace the legendary Bill Tierney – who had made the bold move to go west as Denver’s new coach.
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 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 Episcopal Academy 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.”
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.
Tags: Episcopal Academy