As the 2020 spring season of high school football comes to an end, 49ers PREP presented by U.S. Bank announces its 49ers High School Coach of the Year to Joe Bates, head coach of Skyline High School. Coach Bates and the Skyline Titans are 3 -1 on the season going into a pivotal championship game against McClymonds High School on Friday night. Having held the head coaching position with his alma mater since 2015, Coach Bates continues to build a strong football program that is respected throughout the Bay Area and the city of Oakland.
2020 was a difficult year for a lot of high schools and their student-athletes, but Coach Bates is proud of his team for navigating this past year both on and off the field. "This has been a different year... not knowing when or if we would play was damaging to Skyline and the City of Oakland," said Coach Bates. "As coaches, we fill a mentorship role on top of our coaching duties, and this year our mentoring role superseded our coaching role when we thought all hope was lost."
On the field, the Skyline football program is 3-1 on the shortened season and is playing for a league championship, but Coach Bates is more proud of his team off the field. Ian Prchlik, one of his student-athletes, is the class president and will be attending University of Michigan in the fall on an academic scholarship. "Ian is the heart and soul of our team; he has been watching Skyline football since he was 3 years old. To see him succeed off the field gives me so much pride even more than scoring touchdowns or winning games," said Bates.
For being selected as the 49ers PREP Coach of the Year award, Coach Bates and the Skyline High School football program will receive a grant from the 49ers Foundation!
"To be recognized by an organization that I idolized growing up is an honor. The 49ers are the golden standard and now I need to step up my game to continue to be great in the community to live up to this award," said Bates.
We are excited to recognize Coach Bates as our 49ers PREP Coach of the Year and look forward to him representing the San Francisco 49ers for years to come! Congratulations, Coach Bates!