Michael Bates (American football)

Michael Bates (American football)
Michael Bates
Return specialist
Wide receiver
Special teamer
Jersey #(s)
81, 83, 82, 24, 20, 29
Born December 19, 1969 (1969-12-19) (age 41)
Victoria, Texas
Career information
Year(s) 19932003
NFL Draft 1992 / Round: 6 / Pick: 150
College Arizona
Professional teams
Career stats
Return Touchdowns 5
Kick Returns 373
KR yards 9,110
Stats at NFL.com
Career highlights and awards
Medal record
Men’s Athletics
Competitor for  United States
Olympic Games
Men's Athletics
Bronze 1992 Barcelona 200 metres
Summer Universiade
Gold 1991 Sheffield 100 metres

Michael Dion Bates (born December 19, 1969 in Victoria, Texas) is a former two-sport athlete who gained renown both as a sprinter who won an Olympic bronze medal in the 200-meter dash in 1992, and also as a five-time American football Pro Bowl standout kick returner in the National Football League.


Early career

A letterman in football and track at Amphitheater High School in Tucson, Arizona, Michael was the unanimous selection of the Long Beach Press-Telegram as the "Best in the West." He was rated by Parade as the second-best prospect in the country at running back behind Terry Kirby. His brother Mario played for the Arizona Cardinals and was a second-round draft choice of the New Orleans Saints in 1992 from Arizona State.[1] Another brother, Marion, played collegiately at Southern California and Arizona.

College career

He played college football and ran track for the University of Arizona. In track, he was voted the Pac-10's Outstanding Male Performer at the conference track championships in 1989 and 1990, winning the 100 and 200-meter dashes. He was also a member of the Wildcats 400-meter relay team that finished second in the 1989 NCAA Championships. His college-best time was 10.17 in the 100 meters.


Bates' personal best time in the 200-meter dash was 20.01 seconds, at the June 1992 Olympic trials. In the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, his time of 20.38 from the inside lane, put him 0.37 seconds behind gold medal winner Michael Marsh and 0.25 seconds behind silver medalist Frankie Fredericks to win the bronze medal.

NFL career

He was the 150th overall selection by the Seattle Seahawks in the 1992 NFL Draft, but only joined the team in 1993, after the Olympics were over. In his football career, the majority of which he played for the Carolina Panthers, he had 9110 total yards in kick returns and five kick-return touchdowns (the NFL record for kickoff return touchdowns in a career is six). In one of his best seasons, 1996, he returned 33 kicks for 998 yards - a remarkable average of 30.2 yards per return - and one kick return touchdown. Bates was selected to the NFL 1990s All-Decade Team.


Sources and external links

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