A&T Tabs Oates as Assistant Coach

WACO, TX- Acrobatics and tumbling Baylor and head coach Felicia Mulkey have finalized the addition of Courtney (Pate) Oates as an assistant coach for the program, it was announced Friday.

“To say I’m thrilled to have Courtney back at Baylor is an understatement,” Mulkey said. “She has proven herself as a coach at the Division II and III levels by creating two programs from scratch. She is clearly a fantastic coach, but she is an even better human. She loves the sport of acrobatics and tumbling and she loves Baylor and I know she will have a huge impact on our student-athletes and our entire program.

Oates comes to Baylor after spending three seasons in his hometown of Belton as head coach of the A&T program at UMHB.

“The sport of acrobatics and tumbling continues to have such a big impact on my life,” Oates said. “I am incredibly grateful for the path it has led me on. Baylor University has always held a special place in my heart. I am beyond honored to have the privilege of working with such an in-depth program of athletes and staff while back on Baylor grounds.”

Oates was hired by the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in February 2019 to launch and develop UMHB’s acrobatics and tumbling program. The Cru Acrobatics & Tumbling program began competition in the spring of 2020. UMHB hosted four-time defending national champion Baylor University in its inaugural meet, and Cru earned the program’s first victory in its next meet in East Texas Baptist.

UMHB finished with a 1-1 record after that inaugural season was cut short and canceled in March. Oates then guided the Cru to 3-3 records each of the last two seasons. They won the 2022 NCATA Division III Awards and placed 23 student-athletes on the NCATA Academic Honor Roll.

She had twice the opportunity to start an acrobatics and tumbling program during her young coaching career. Prior to joining UMHB, she spent two years at West Virginia Wesleyan College as that school’s inaugural coach. Oates was hired in January 2017 and spent a year recruiting for the program before guiding the Bobcats to a 4-4 record in their first competitive season in the spring of 2018. Oates also spent a semester as a volunteer assistant coach at Baylor University. . She is originally from Belton and her father, Jerry Pate, was an athletic trainer for UMHB and Baylor.

Oates graduated in 2016 from Baylor University with a degree in Studio Art with a concentration in Photography. She won a four-year letter for the Baylor Athletics and Tumbling program and won two National Tag Team Championships with the Bears (2015, 2016). Oates also won three individual national championships during his time at Baylor.

She was a three-time selection to the Academic All-Big 12 and was also named to the Academic All-Big 12 Rookie Team as a rookie. Oates was named to the 12 Great Commissioners Honor Roll and Dean’s List eight times during her college career. She is also a graduate of Belton High School, where she was a four-time All-American cheerleader and regional qualifier as a pole vaulter.

Courtney (formerly Pate) and her husband, Gabe, married in December 2020. She is the daughter of Jerry and Vicki Pate. His brother, Tyler, graduated from UMHB and played football for Cru. Her younger sister, Cassidy, graduated from Baylor.

To stay up to date throughout the season on all things Baylor acrobatics and tumbling, follow the team on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: @BaylorAcroTumb.




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