Bill Bates played 15 seasons in the NFL with the Dallas Cowboys at the safety position. Bates joined the Cowboys as an undrafted free agent in 1983 out of the University of Tennessee. A Farragut, Tennessee native, Bates signed with Tennessee out of Farragut High School, where he tallied over 1,000 yards, 14 interceptions and over 200 tackles during his high school career. While playing at Tennessee he was one of the best safeties in the country, recording 55 tackles as a freshman, 43 as a sophomore, 71 as a junior and a career high 86 as a senior to go along with nine career interceptions. As a junior and senior he was named to the All-SEC team and earned All-American honors as a senior. In the 1983 NFL Draft he went unselected, but worked his way into a contract with the Cowboys and eventually became one of the leagues most popular players. During his career he tallied 14 interceptions and 18 sacks in route to earning Pro Bowl and All-Pro honors in 1984. The crowing accomplishment of his career was when he helped the Cowboys to wins in Super Bowl XXVII, Super Bowl XXVIII and XXX. After his retirement he coached special teams for the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2001 and helped lead Nease High School in Jacksonville, Florida to a Florida 5A State Championship in 2005 as an assistant coach. Bates was inducted into the Greater Knoxville Sports Hall of Fame in 2005 and named to the 100 Year All Tennessee Team in 2011.
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