Bates Accepts Position At Western Michigan

Apr. 5, 2000

Jacksonville, Fla. - Jacksonville University assistant basketball coach Clayton Bates has accepted an assistant coaching position at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Mich. Bates, who has been a member of Dolphin Head Coach Hugh Durham's staff for the past three years, will join the Broncos' staff at the end of this week.

After accepting the position on Saturday while attending the Final Four, Bates had the following comment, "I appreciate the opportunity that Jacksonville University and coach Durham have provided me, I am going to miss JU and the city and I wish the coaching staff and players the best of luck in the future." While working with the Dolphins, Bates has been responsible for all aspects of the day-to-day operation of the men's basketball program, with the exception of off-campus recruiting.

In response to his move to Western Michigan Bates said the following, "I am extremely excited by the opportunity at Western Michigan. I look forward to joining coach McCullum and his staff and being part of a winning tradition in a strong conference." Western Michigan is a member of the 13-school Mid-America Conference that placed one school in the NCAA Tournament and two schools in the NIT this season.

The relationship between Bates and McCullum dates back to Bates' playing days at Florida and his coaching stint at Illinois. Bates played for McCullum and Lon Kruger at the University of Florida (1993-96) and later worked for one season as the men's basketball administrative assistant at Illinois (1997) under Kruger and McCullum. "Obviously I am very familiar with Coach McCullum and have a great deal of confidence and trust in his ability to lead the program forward," Bates said.

As a player, Bates was a member of the Gators' Final Four squad in 1994 and 1995 NCAA Tournament team a year later. A walk-on who later earned a scholarship, the Gainesville, Fla., native was named UF's Most Inspirational Player following the 1992-93 season. He was just the seventh Florida student-athlete to be named to the Southeastern Conference Academic Honor Roll on three occasions.