300 and counting: Coach Katie Walker Bates crosses coaching milestone
Earlier this season, Coach Katie Walker Bates crossed over 300 career wins with no attention being paid to it. She had no idea, honestly, which is exactly the sort of thing KWB wouldn’t know.
“Wow,” Coach Bates said when I told her of her career achievement. “That’s kinda crazy.”
Some say winning at the amount and level that she has won is crazy. By that, I mean can’t really wrap your head around it impressive.
Thursday night the Lady Panthers won their fourth straight gold ball, the first ever 1A girls program to do that. That win was number 325 for KWB since becoming a head coach in 2007-2008.
In that time frame, she has won 5 total gold balls and played for it all 9 times. She has been in the state tournament 10 times in 12 years.
In her relatively short time on the sidelines, she has won at a clip that puts her at all time great coaching level. Her fifth state championship on Thursday is one more girls title than living legend Norris Ashley won on the girls side at Ingomar, for example.
Some really good coaches go entire careers without raising the gold ball once. It becomes easy, sometimes, when you consistently see greatness night in and night out to take it for granted.
My advice when it comes to the coaching greatness of Coach Bates?