Cullowhee, N.C. – Western Carolina Athletics announced the addition of Andrew Bates as its Director of Sports Performance. In addition to managing WCU Athletics’ efforts in the David & Marie Brinkley Athletics Weightlifting Facility, Bates will also oversee the Catamount football program’s strength and conditioning initiatives.
A Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), Bates comes to Cullowhee after a two-year stint at Southern Utah where he was the Head Strength and Conditioning Coach for the football team. As a part of the NCAA FCS United Athletic Conference (UAC), the Thunderbirds posted a winning record in 2023, scoring six victories – the most for the program since a nine-win season back in 2017 as a part of the Big Sky Conference.
Bates previously worked with WCU head football coach Kerwin Bell at Jacksonville University where Bates spent nearly a decade working with the Dolphins’ student-athletes. During his tenure as Head Strength and Conditioning Coach at JU that spanned 2012-2021, Bates played a crucial role in the program’s success as they won an impressive 35 conference championships across various sports.
Before making the move to Utah, Bates served as the Hampton University Football Head Strength and Conditioning Coach.
During his tenure at Jacksonville, Bates oversaw 19 sports while concentrating on football, men’s basketball, women’s lacrosse, men’s lacrosse, baseball, and track & field. Bates worked primarily with Jacksonville football designing and implementing all aspects of Strength & Conditioning, nutritional planning for training, travel, and gameday fueling, and providing Pro Day/Combine preparation training.
With the Dolphins, Bates was part of 10 Conference Championships in football (2014), women’s lacrosse (2013-2021), and baseball (2021).
Bates joined Jacksonville from Marshall University where he spent the previous two years as a graduate assistant. He additionally completed internships at both Michigan State University and his alma mater, Wayne State University.
A two-year letter winner in football at both Grand Rapids Community College and Wayne State, Bates served as a team captain in 2005 at GRCC, winning the NJCAA Non-scholarship National Championship. In 2008, captained a Wayne State team and helped lead the program to an 8-3 record that stood tied for most wins in school history at the time.
Bates received his Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science from Wayne State University in 2009 and earned a Master of Science in Exercise Physiology from Marshall University in 2012. He is a certified strength and conditioning specialist CSCS certified through the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) and a strength and conditioning coach certified (SCCC) through the Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coaches Association. He also holds the United States Weightlifting Level 1 Certification, Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certification, and is RPR Reflexive Performance Reset Level 1 Certified.
A native of Howell, Mich., Andrew and his wife, Kasandra, reside with their two dogs Burban and Rogue.