WMU promotes Bates as virus impacts search

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KALAMAZOO, Mich. — Western Michigan promoted Clayton Bates to be its basketball coach Saturday, with its athletic director saying the coronavirus disaster impacted the varsity’s search.Bates was beforehand an affiliate head coach for WMU. He replaces Steve Hawkins, whose tenure ended this month after 17 seasons.”I made a decision to alter management of our program days earlier than the COVID-19 disaster emerged. A complete nationwide search on this time of tension, regardless of exceedingly sturdy nationwide curiosity within the place, simply did not sit nicely with me,” athletic director Kathy Beauregard stated in an announcement.”Clayton is one of the best particular person for the job at hand. He brings a wealth of enjoying and training expertise and he has a detailed bond with the younger males on our crew. They deserve this stability and clear route for this system,” she added.Western Michigan stated it has suspended new, exterior hires to adjust to social distancing practices, and the varsity famous brazenly in its information launch that it might be saving about $165,000 on its head coach subsequent season.Bates’ wage will increase from $110,000 to $120,000 per yr, with an extra $100,000 for multimedia rights and talking alternatives — a complete of $220,000. Hawkins’ wage was $225,000, with an extra $160,000 for multimedia rights and talking alternatives.”I admire athletics director Beauregard’s belief and confidence. WMU is a particular establishment,” Bates stated. “My household and I are proud Broncos and we’re excited to be a part of the college on this new capability. Success is a product of shared possession. We’ll work collectively to signify the college in a first-class method.”Assistant coach Thomas Kelley and basketball operations director Jake Bullock are remaining with this system. Assistant coach Glen Heffernan won’t be retained. His contract expires April 30.Hawkins was 291-262 total as head coach and led the Broncos to 2 NCAA match appearances, however he was coming off two straight shedding seasons when his contract was not renewed.Bates was a guard at Florida from 1992-96, serving to the Gators attain the postseason in all 4 seasons. Bates has spent 15 seasons in several stints with Western Michigan after first being introduced on board with this system in 2000.The Related Press contributed to this report.

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