The longtime teacher and coach says he plans to carry on with the tradition of excellence in athletics

by: JOHN DENNY - Former Gladstone High School athletic director Jere Applebee (at right) handed the keys over to the schools new athletic director, Ted Yates, over the summer.Longtime educator and coach Ted Yates has taken over the athletic director duties at Gladstone High School, replacing Jere Applebee, who is now working full-time in student management at John Wetten Elementary School.

Yates continues as head coach in boys basketball, in addition to teaching a couple of math classes and heading up the Gladstone High School athletic department.

Yates, 57, has been a high school math teacher and coach for 32 years, including 28 years at Gladstone High School, where he has headed up the boys basketball program for 16 nonconsecutive seasons. He’s also been an assistant coach in basketball, football, baseball and volleyball.

“Although I’ve coached three seasons many times, this will give me the opportunity to see and work with more kids, who are seeking that passion to perform at their best,” said Yates. “They’re not always passionate about math or passionate about English. But they are about athletics. You get to see on the athletic court what makes them tick....

“I view athletics as co-curricular, not extra curricular.”

Yates said that part of the reason he took the “athletic director” job was to ensure that the highly respected tradition in Gladstone athletics continues.

“With the economy the way it is, it’s hard finding someone,” Yates said. “This being a half-time position, but requiring a full-time commitment.”

When Yates returned to head up the basketball program last winter, after four seasons away, he said: “It’s my goal to have the strongest program we can. We have some retooling, rebuilding to do. But eventually, my expectations are to contend for the league title.”

Yates added, “I still am passionate [about coaching basketball]. I plan to continue until I feel like I’m no longer effective as a coach.”

Although he doesn’t know his win-loss record, Yates said his teams have had well over 200 career wins in his 16 seasons heading up the boys basketball program at Gladstone.

“I haven’t kept track of wins and losses, because that’s not what’s most important to me,” Yates said. “My main goal is to develop young men of character.”

Yates had basketball teams qualify for state tournaments in 1986, 1988, 1991, 1992 and 2013; and his Gladiators placed fourth at state in 1988. They were league champions or co-champions in 1986, 1988 and in 1992.

Yates coached a Gladstone boys basketball team that had very little experience playing at the varsity level last winter. The team finished with an overall record of 14-11 and made the eight-team Class 4A State Tournament, after going 5-5 and tying for third place in the Tri-Valley Conference. The team gave 2013 TVC champion La Salle a run for its money twice during the regular season, losing 42-36 and 40-39. La Salle’s senior-dominated team went on to place third at the 2013 Class 4A State Tournament.

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