Michael Bates (American football)
|No. 81, 83, 82, 24, 20, 29|
|Date of birth:||December 19, 1969|
|Place of birth:||Victoria, Texas|
|NFL Draft:||1992 / Round: 6 / Pick: 150|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
|Representing the United States|
|1992 Barcelona||200 metres|
|1991 Sheffield||100 metres|
Michael Dion Bates (born December 19, 1969) is a former two-sport athlete who gained renown both as a sprinter who won an Olympic bronze medal in the 200-meter dash in 1992, and also as a five-time American football Pro Bowl standout kick returner in the National Football League.
A letterman in football and track at Amphitheater High School in Tucson, Arizona, Bates was the unanimous selection of the Long Beach Press-Telegram as the "Best in the West." He was rated by Parade as the second-best prospect in the country at running back behind Terry Kirby. His brother Mario played for the Arizona Cardinals and was a second-round draft choice of the New Orleans Saints in 1992 from Arizona State. Another brother, Marion, played collegiately at Southern California and Arizona.
He played college football and ran track for the University of Arizona. In track, he was voted the Pac-10's Outstanding Male Performer at the conference track championships in 1989 and 1990, winning the 100 and 200-meter dashes. He was also a member of the Wildcats 400-meter relay team that finished second in the 1989 NCAA Championships. His college-best time was 10.17 in the 100 meters.
At the June 1992 Olympic Trials he finished third, qualifying for the Olympics, edging Carl Lewis by one one-hundredth of a second for the final qualifying spot. In the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, his time of 20.38 from the inside lane, put him 0.37 seconds behind gold medal winner Michael Marsh and 0.25 seconds behind silver medalist Frankie Fredericks to win the bronze medal. He set his personal best time in the 200-meter dash was 20.01 seconds, set at the Weltklasse meet in Zurich 13 days after the Olympics.
|50 meters||5.75||Los Angeles, California||February 15, 1992|
|100 meters||10.17||Sheffield, England||July 21, 1991|
|200 meters||20.01||Zurich, Switzerland||August 19, 1992|
He was the 150th overall selection by the Seattle Seahawks in the 1992 NFL Draft, but only joined the team in 1993, after the Olympics were over. In his football career, the majority of which he played for the Carolina Panthers, he had 9,154 total yards in kick returns and five kick-return touchdowns (the NFL record for kickoff return touchdowns in a career is six). In one of his best seasons, 1996, he returned 33 kicks for 998 yards - a remarkable average of 30.2 yards per return - and one kick return touchdown. Bates was selected to the NFL 1990s All-Decade Team.
Panthers franchise records
- Most career kickoff return yards (5,987) 
- Most career kickoff return touchdowns (5)
- Most career kickoff returns (233)
- Most kickoff return yards in a single season: 1,480 (1998)
- Most kickoff return touchdowns in a single season: 2 (1998) (tied with Steve Smith)
Pro Bowl records
- Most career kick returns (17)
- Most career kick return yards (488)
- Brothers in Pro Football
- "Carolina Panthers Team Encyclopedia". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved June 16, 2012.