COLLINSVILLE — Danny Bates knows about the struggles his alma mater has had on the basketball court, especially compared to every other program with state tournament memories.

COLLINSVILLE — Danny Bates knows about the struggles his alma mater has had on the basketball court, especially compared to every other program with state tournament memories.


So the Collinsville head coach knows just how much it meant when the Pirates qualified for the regional tournament for the first time in 11 years.


"It’s the one sport they have never proven in," he said. "As an alumni I wanted to help the program. They wanted to change the program and they did."


Bates, who was the Coach of the Year in District 13-A (I), guided Collinsville to an 18-8 record and a spot in the Region II final with a berth at the state tournament on the line.


Unfortunately for the Pirates they faced the only 1A program to beat them this season, for the third time, as districtmate Muenster went on to be the state runner-up.


It was part of a recent rebirth under Bates. Collinsville made the playoffs last season for the first time since that 2003 region semifinalist year and made the area round. With all but one player returning, a strong effort was expected and delivered.


For his efforts, Bates has been named the Herald Democrat All-Texomaland Boys Basketball Coach of the Year for the 2013-14 season.