Louisiana Men’s Basketball has added Donovan Kates as an assistant coach, head coach Bob Marlin announced on Tuesday. Kates spent the last four seasons at the University of Alabama, most recently serving as the special assistant to head coach Nate Oats. While on staff, Kates helped lead the Tide to an SEC Tournament title in 2021 and a Sweet 16 appearance in the NCAA tournament. Kates primarily focused on advanced team scouting and self-scouting with an emphasis on defensive strategy.
“We are excited to add Donavan to our staff,” Marlin said. “He is a tremendous addition to Louisiana basketball. He brings great experience having worked with Coach Oats and a highly successful program at Alabama. He will make a tremendous impact on our players, the Ragin’ Cajuns community and the city of Lafayette.”
The Hopkinsville, Kentucky native, joined the Crimson Tide as a graduate assistant manager prior to the 2018-19 season. After graduation, he was elevated to a full-time role as a video coordinator. Kates began his coaching career in 2017 when he spent one season as the head coach of Combine Academy in Charlotte, N.C. Before joining the coaching ranks, Kates was a four-year letterman and a three-year starter at Manhattan College. He led the Jaspers to back-to-back MAAC Tournament titles that resulted in NCAA Tournament appearances in 2014 and 2015. Kates totaled 570 points, 277 rebounds, 105 assists and 50 steals in his collegiate tenure. In high school, Kates guided Christian County to the 2011 Kentucky State Championship. He earned Second Team All-Kentucky honors following his senior campaign. During the title chase, he compiled 77 three-pointers shooting nearly 40 percent from beyond the arc. Kates totaled over 1,400 career points and was selected for a spot on the 2011 Kentucky All-Star Team. Kates earned an undergraduate degree in communications from Manhattan in 2015 and a master’s in sports business administration from Alabama in 2019. He currently resides in Lafayette with his daughter.