(EDITOR’S NOTE – Former three-time Dallas Cowboy Super Bowl champion Bill Bates is proving that life after football has provided him with an even greater opportunity to influence thousands of young people. Roman Gabriel III who will be providing a sports perspective in this and future Biblical Recorder issues, spoke with Bates about his passion for coaching, his faith, his family, and a successful football career that provided a strong platform through coaching to make a difference in the next generation of young people – including Tim Tebow, now the quarterback for the Denver Broncos.)
Q: Bill, I’m so excited to talk with you … you were able to play for one of the great teams in NFL history, three Super Bowl victories, how closely do you follow the Cowboys?
A: As much as I can, but I now live in Jacksonville, Fla. I coached with the Jaguars, five years with the Cowboys, and I was able to coach my kids in high school here in Jacksonville. I coached them at Nease High School where I also had the privilege of coaching Tim Tebow.
Q: What was it like to coach Tim?
A: Timmy is a phenomenal person. He is a great leader … how he handles life and how he takes care of himself. He’s one of those guys people want to be around. Everyone just gravitates to him. That is good from a football standpoint and for a team. You want your players to gravitate to him … especially when it’s the QB position.
Q: He seems to have a great balance and perspective about life and his career?
A: He’s committed to football, but even more importantly, [he’s] committed to the Lord Jesus Christ, which is what it’s all about …That kind of leadership is hard to find.
He has “it.” People just want to be around him. He’s big, fast and strong, which helps as a QB. He is a great leader, and Denver has a great QB.
Former three-time Dallas Cowboy Super Bowl champion Bill Bates is proving that life after football has provided him with an even greater opportunity to influence thousands of young people.
Q: I had the privilege to be coached by my father in college. What was the experience like to coach your own children?
A: To be able to coach my kids in high school and be a part of their lives created so many great memories.
Q: It had to be even more meaningful to experience winning with your two boys. What was that experience like for you?
A: We won the state championship their sophomore year, Tim Tebow’s senior year, and went back to the state championship twice more. Now they’re both playing college football – Graham at Arkansas State, and Hunter at Northwestern. My daughter (Brianna) is playing sorority volleyball at Florida. I am very blessed to have the memories of being able to coach them. That’s what it’s all about. I’ve had that opportunity to coach so many players. If just one thing I said to them helped them it made it worth it.
Q: [The Cowboys] were so great. Tell us what it was like to play on such a dominant team.
A: Obviously it was a dream come true. The one thing about our team was that we were so competitive, competed every opportunity we could, a great will to win. We competed on each and every occasion … Obviously we had so many great players.
Q: Bill, tell us about Bill Bates Cowboy Ranch in Texas.
A: In 1989, I had no idea I would play as long as I did, so I knew I had to start some business that I could fall back into once I stopped playing. We started this corporate party dude ranch and have been doing it for 20 years now in Mckinney, Texas. Having a lot of fun, providing a lot of great church and family events, hopefully being able to change people’s lives in a positive way in helping create some good memories for parents and kids.
Q: Of course if our readers want to know more they can look you up at billbatescowboyranch.com. You obviously had a great football career. How has that experience allowed you to make a difference in others lives today as a Christian?
A: My platform and career gave me the ability to reach more ears … hopefully change the lives of at least one person, a platform that allowed me to share what happened to me … the direction I was headed in until I met the Lord Jesus Christ … to be able to hopefully see someone else have the opportunity to find the Lord.
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Roman Gabriel is an evangelist and motivational speaker. His Sold Out Sports Talk Radio program on American Family Radio can be heard in 200 cities nationally or streaming live at afr.net. It’s all about faith, family and sports. Visit his website: soldouttv.com; Facebook page: Roman Gabriel III Fan Page; connect with him on Twitter: romangabriel3rd; email him: [email protected] or call 910-431-6483. For more stories from Gabriel, visit here.)