2000 Atlantic 10 Conference Men's Tennis Coach of the Year
2001 Atlantic 10 Conference Men's Tennis Coach of the Year
2003 Atlantic 10 Conference Men's Tennis Coach of the Year
Now in his 23rd year at St. Bonaventure, Michael Bates has established himself as one of the top coaches in the Atlantic 10 Conference.
His teams have found success on the court and in the classroom. Following the 2016-17 season, both the Bonnies men's and women's teams were honored with Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) All-Academic Awards for having team cumulative GPAs of better than 3.20. It marked the fourth straight year the Bona women's team received the ITA All-Academic honor. Also during the season, Indra Patwardhan was named Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Week for his strong play. Following the 2015-16 season, both Victor Blanco and Eduardo Irizarry were named All-Atlantic 10 while from the women's side, Mara Martinez-Santori also was named all-conference. The Bonnies women's team also received recognition from the NCAA for being in the top 10 percent of the nation's Academic Progress Report (APR) ratings.
The 2011-12 campaign brought more success on and off the court for the three-time conference coach of the year. Under Bates’ direction, the women’s team won 11 matches despite featuring a youthful lineup of six underclassmen. Graduated three-time all-conference selection Manuela Marin Salcedo is one of only two letterwinners from last year not returning for the women’s team in 2012-13.
Off the court, the women’s squad was recognized by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) as an All-Academic Team selection for the four straight year in 2012. Additionally, SBU’s Marin Salcedo, Kathryn Kvas, Andrea Pavlovic and Riley Archer earned individual Scholar-Athlete honors from the ITA. For the men, Oscar Yanez, Elliot Fanshel and Trevor Haskell were honored by the ITA for their academic success.
Bates received recognition for his work both in the "Bona Bubble" and throughout the community in 2011, winning the United States Tennis Association (USTA)/Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Campus and Community Outreach Award for the Eastern region. The Campus and Community Outreach Award is given each year to a "college coach who provides a leadership role in increasing tennis participation throughout his or her community, both on and off campus."
Bates has coached numerous All-Conference players at St. Bonaventure, including 2006 graduate Alejandro Nery. The Venezuala native was a three-time All-Conference performer and served as an assistant coach for Bates upon his graduation.
That same year under the guidance of Bates, freshman Diego Valdenegro turned in a strong rookie performance, being selected to the All-Conference Second Team as a rookie.
Bates has led the men's tennis program to new heights, earning Atlantic 10 Men's Tennis Coach of the Year honors in 2000, 2001 and 2003. Since 2001, he has led the men to two A-10 titles, two NCAA Tournament appearances and a run at one point of six straight years among the A-10's top three teams.
Bates is also a leader in college tennis, appointed as a member of the NCAA Division I Men's Tennis Committee beginning in September 2001.
Bates was the assistant men's and women's coach at the University of Pennsylvania for two years before coming to St. Bonaventure. At Penn, he helped guide the men to a national ranking and the women to a second-place finish in the Ivy League.
He began his coaching career as an assistant at his alma mater, Slippery Rock University, for two years. Bates taught professionally in Boston for four years before joining the staff at Penn.
Bates was a four-year letterwinner at Slippery Rock and was captain as a senior in 1987. He holds the fourth-best all-time record at the school and helped lead The Rock to a school-record 12 straight team wins.
Bates and his wife, Kris, reside in Olean. They have three children: son Thomas, and two daughters: Anna, and Karolyn.