Clear Channel Sports learned late Monday night of the passing of longtime Chillicothe basketball coach Harold Bates.

Bates served as an assistant coach for 14 years before becoming Chillicothe's head coach in 1984. Bates helped the Cavs win District titles in 1976, 1979, 1981 and 1993.

He was a valued right hand to Cavs legend Tom Cuppett for 11 of those seasons as well as Gene Greer and Don Cooper before taking the reins himself.

Bates had two stints as head coach, totaling four seasons (1984-85 through 1986-87 and again 2004-05) with a record of 42-45.

Bates served five Chillicothe coaches, Cuppett, Greer, Cooper, Joe B. Stewart from 1990-99 and Jeff Hobbs until stepping in as head coach again 2004.

In an interview when Bates was first hired to lead the Cavs in 1984, Cuppett (then Athletic Director) credited Harold with a most important job that led to their successful teams in the 1980s. Cuppett cited Bates was the orchestrator of a defense which would hold Cavalier opponents to 40 points or less.

In an email, Stewart told Clear Channel Sports "Harold as a coach was worth points to his team on the floor and a person whose influence and caring transformed a game into a skills for life class. He had a passion for teaching and was a model of loyalty personally and professionally."

All in all, Bates had a hand in 30-plus varsity seasons of Cavalier basketball, and he came back from retirement to coach the Paint Valley Bearcats after his days at Chillicothe.