March 17, 2008
DeKalb, Ill. - Northern Illinois University head men's basketball coach Ricardo Patton announced on Monday, that he has promoted assistant coach Dennis Gates to associate head coach.
"I would like to first and foremost say thanks to Head Coach Ricardo Patton and all who were instrumental in fulfilling his request, including Dr. Jim Phillips and Robert Collins, to grant me this opportunity at Northern Illinois University," Gates said. "I fully take the responsibility of representing Coach Patton, the men's basketball program and NIU in the role of associate head coach.
"I am thrilled to be a part of such a fine institution, the DeKalb/Sycamore communities and most importantly apart of the lives of the many individuals who make them."
Gates has quickly ascended up the collegiate coaching ranks as this is just his third season as a full-time assistant coach. A native of Chicago, Gates has provided Patton and the Huskies a vital recruiting pipeline to the `Windy City' as Patton has inked Chicago Public League standouts Mike DiNunno (Von Steuben) and Bryan Hall (Whitney Young).
"Dennis Gates is one of Chicago's favorite sons, a winner on both the court and the classroom," Patton said. "This promotion should serve to empower Coach Gates to effectively recruit, with head coach credentials."
Prior to this season, Gates spent two years coaching at his alma mater, California, from 2005-07. He had two different stints as a graduate assistant coach at both Marquette (2003-04) and Florida State (2004-05). Upon completion of his playing career at California, Gates served as an intern assistant coach for the Los Angeles Clippers during the 2002-03 campaign.
As a player, Gates was a four-year letterwinner and a three-year captain for the Golden Bears from 1998-2002. He played a key role in Cal's 1999 National Invitational Tournament title and bids to the 2000 and 2001 NCAA Tournament.