The Bartow County School System released a statement Monday naming Steve Gates the newest head football coach at Cass High School.
Gates, who played at the University of Georgia in the 1990s and was most recently on the staff at Kell High School in Cobb County, will be the eighteenth head coach in the Colonels' football history.
“We were very fortunate that many local and out-of-state candidates applied for the position,” says Cass High School Principal Stephen Revard. “That is a testament to the fine job Coach Bobby Hughes and his staff have done over the past few years, and it speaks volumes about our district, school, community, and student athletes.”
Before the search began, school leaders met with parent and student groups to identify what characteristics they wanted in their next head football coach. “From there, the hiring panel developed a profile, and Coach Gates was the perfect fit,” said Revard.
“As associate head coach and offensive coordinator at Kell High School, he brings a proven track-record of success, not just on the football field but also in the classroom. Additionally, as a recruiting coordinator, he was directly responsible for helping players realize their dream of playing college football. Kell currently ranks fourth on the list of all AAAAA schools in the number of athletes competing at the next level. As educators, we’re all excited about the doors Coach Gates will help our student athletes open after high school.”
Coach Gates comes to Cass High School from Kell High School in Marietta, Georgia, where he served as the assistant head coach and offensive coordinator. He was also in charge of recruiting and academics for the Longhorn program.
Prior to his time at Kell High School, Coach Gates was at North Cobb High School, where he served as the academic advisor, run-game coordinator, and offensive line coach. The Warriors made the state playoffs five consecutive years, averaging 33 points per game, with a Final 4 appearance in 2012.
In his first campaign at Kell High School, the 2016 Longhorns made it to the Final 4 in the state playoffs and averaged 31.4 points per game throughout the entire season. The next year brought another state playoff appearance for the Longhorns, as they averaged more than 30 points per game.
Coach Gates took over coaching the running backs for the 2018 Longhorns, and they made another State playoff appearance with a 9-3 overall record. The 2018 Longhorns offense averaged 35.5 points per game, Coach Gates' highest points per game season average to date. 2019 brought another outstanding season, as the Longhorns went 9-3 and again averaged 33 points per game.
Coach Gates came to Georgia in 1987, played at McEachern High School, and went on to play football at the University of Georgia. There, he had the opportunity to block for NFL greats like Terrell Davis and Garrison Hearst.
Coach Gates lives in Acworth, Georgia and has two children, Connor (20), who is a sophomore at Berry College and plays football for the Vikings and Cooper (15), who is a sophomore at Kell High School and is on the Varsity Longhorn Tennis team.
“I’m honored to be selected to lead this program,” said Coach Gates. “I am filling big shoes as Coach Hughes has laid an incredible foundation of hard work, respect, and integrity in the program. It’s my job to build off of that and take the Colonels to the next level. And I’m jacked up to make that happen!”
“The amount of support from the Board, Superintendent Dr. Phillip Page, Principal Steve Revard, Athletic Director Dr. Nicky Moore, and Athletic Coordinator Coach Hughes has been unprecedented in this process,” added Coach Gates. “The commitment to academics and athletics at Cass, with the implementation of the magnet program, the variety of CTAE career paths, the new turf in the stadium, and the recently installed jumbo tron are tremendous commitments to the Cass Community. My expectations on and off the field will be at an all-time high as long as I’m in charge of this program. This is not a battle, this is a war!”