RIPLEY–Katie Bates will be the next head girl’s basketball coach at Ripley High School. Ripley principal Buck Buchanan made the announcement this morning. Pending South Tippah School Board approval, Bates will replace Chad Brown, who coached the Ripley girls for the last three seasons.
Bates is very familiar with Ripley, having coached the Lady Tigers for six seasons before deciding to take the vacant head coaching job at Pine Grove, her high school alma mater, in the summer of 2013.
In 10 seasons at Pine Grove, Bates restored the historic basketball program back to championship success. She led the class 1A Lady Panthers to five state championship appearances, which included winning an unprecedented four consecutive Gold Balls from 2017 -2020. While at Pine Grove, Bates won 68 percent of her games, amassing an overall record of 219-103.
Bates said she broke the news to her Lady Panthers squad this morning.
Now the two-time Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal Coach of the Year returns to the Ripley sidelines where her head coaching career began. She built a powerhouse Class 3A program while at the helm from 2007-2013. Under her guidance, the Lady Tigers went 140-53, which included advancing to the state semifinals or finals in five consecutive seasons and winning Ripley’s second state girls’ title in 2011.