College SportsUniversity of Cincinnati


Bearcats hoops former player, coach Tony Yates dies at 82

Tony Yates
Tony Yates with coach Ed Jucker
Tony Yates as a UC Bearcat basketball player
Tony Yates as UC coach
50th anniversary of UC Bearcats national basketball title
Posted at 2:19 AM, May 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-17 20:19:45-04

MASON — Tony Yates was so invaluable to his Bearcats basketball teams in the early 1960s, then-coach Ed Jucker famously called him "my coach on the floor."

The Bearcats basketball legend died Saturday night in a long term care facility in Mason. He was 82 years old.

Yates is scheduled to be inducted into the Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame on June 6 in Columbus.

50th anniversary of UC Bearcats national basketball title
Tony Yates at the 50th anniversary celebration for the 1961-1962 Bearcats basketball team. Courtesy UC Athletics.

Yates was born in Lawrenceburg on September 15, 1937.

With his older brother, Yates led Lockland Wayne to a high school championship in 1952, according to the Hall of Fame. He graduated in 1954, worked for a year, then joined the U.S. Air Force.

While at UC, Yates started at point guard for three years. He was part of NCAA national title-winning teams in 1961 and 1962, his sophomore and junior years.

Tony Yates as a UC Bearcat basketball player
Tony Yates was a three-year starter at point guard for the Bearcats. Courtesy UC Athletics.

Yates would return to be the Bearcats' coach on the sidelines - first as assistant coach from 1972-1974 and then as head coach from 1984-1989. As head coach, he held a 70-100 record.

He was inducted into the University of Cincinnati Athletics Hall of Fame in 1985.

Tony Yates as UC coach
Tony Yates returned to the University of Cincinnati first as assistant coach in the 1970s, then as head coach in the 1980s. Courtesy UC Athletics.

Services were pending early Sunday morning, according to JC Battle III of JC Battle and Sons Funeral Home.

This is a developing story. WCPO will update this story as more information is available.