July 25, 2006
EVANSTON, Ill. -
Northwestern University football coach Pat Fitzgerald announced today the hiring of Randy Bates as his linebackers coach. Bates comes to Evanston after spending the last six years at Louisiana Tech University. He was Tech's defensive coordinator/secondary coach in 2005.
Bates replaces Pat Fitzgerald, who was promoted to head coach after Randy Walker's sudden death on June 29, 2006.
Fitzgerald also announced that Kevin Johns, the Wildcats' wide receivers coach, will serve as the program's recruiting coordinator.
"When Randy was in for his interview, I was extremely impressed with his teaching abilities, especially when it came to the linebacking corps," said Fitzgerald. "On top of that, Randy is a loyal family man and I am excited about bringing his coaching capabilities to our football family.
"Kevin Johns is extremely organized and an unbelievably diligent recruiter. With his enthusiasm and attention to detail, I fully expect Kevin to take our recruiting efforts to the next level."
In 2005, Bates guided the Bulldogs to one of the program's top defensive performances in the last decade, which led to a 7-4 overall record and third-place finish in the Western Athletic Conference. The defense allowed the fewest points since 1994 and ranked fifth in the country in turnover margin.
In his six years with the Bulldogs, Bates served in numerous capacities, all on the defensive side of the football. He worked with the entire secondary in 2000 and 2001, the cornerbacks in 2002, linebackers in 2003, the entire secondary in 2004 and finally defensive coordinator and secondary coach in 2005.
"This is a tremendous opportunity to coach for a first-class institution and a first-class football program," said Bates. "But like Coach Fitzgerald said in his introductory press conference, this is a bittersweet feeling. Having known of Coach Walker when I was a graduate assistant at Miami (Ohio), I look forward to continuing the success he established here at Northwestern."
Prior to Tech, Bates served as the linebackers coach and recruiting coordinator at Kent State University for two years. There, he worked with current NU defensive coordinator Greg Colby.
Bates was the linebackers coach at New Hampshire from 1992 through 1997, winning the Yankee Conference championship in 1994. The team was ranked No. 12 nationally in Division I-AA and reached the NCAA playoffs.
The 46-year-old also had coaching stints at Navy (1989-1992), St. Joseph's College (1984-1988), Miami (Ohio) (1983-84) and Muskingum College (1982-83).
Bates earned his bachelor's degree in physical education from Ohio State University in 1983 and his master's degree in education from Miami University in 1985.
Bates is a retired Naval Lieutenant and is married to the former Tracey Huerkamp of Cincinnati, Ohio. The couple has three children, Samantha, Alexandra and Olivia.