The Western Michigan Broncos have promoted assistant head coach Clayton Bates to be their next head coach. This move came after the team parted ways with long time head coach Steve Hawkins. The move is a little questionable considering the program seemingly wanted to rebuild the program after firing Hawkins. Clayton Bates has been with the team for several different stints dating back to the year 2000. This hire could be due to the uncertainty surrounding the Coronavirus Outbreak. Staying in-house provides some stability and limits contact from other locations.
??Thrilled to announce the new head coach of the Bronco Basketball program.
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— WMU Men’s Basketball (@WMUMBB) March 29, 2020
Athletic Director Kathy Beauregard had the following statement about the hiring: “I decided to change leadership of our program days before the COVID-19 crisis emerged, a comprehensive national search in this time of anxiety, despite exceedingly strong national interest in the position, just didn’t sit well with me. Our student-athletes, and the whole program, is fortunate, in this difficult time, to have strong leadership in Clayton Bates, a 20-year veteran of the program. “I know that Coach Bates will do an excellent job leading these young men during the 2020-21 season.”
This is Clayton Bates’ first head coaching job and how he handles it could very well shape the rest of his career. It seems that the Broncos did interview other players, but were turned down on a few of them. They ultimately decided to reward their long time assistant coach with the job. There are also some reports that Bates will have a fairly low salary compared to his Mid-American Conference peers. This makes it possible for Western Michigan to move on fairly quickly if they decide to down the road.