“To say that I am excited to have Courtney back at Baylor is an understatement,” Mulkey said. “She has proven herself as a coach at the Division II and III level by building two programs from the ground up. She is clearly a fantastic coach, but she is an even better human. She loves the sport of Acrobatics & Tumbling and she loves Baylor. I know that she will make a huge impact on our student-athletes and our entire program.”
Oates comes to Baylor after spending three seasons in her hometown of Belton, serving as the head coach of the A&T program at UMHB.
“The sport of acrobatics & tumbling continues to impact my life in such large ways,” Oates said. “I’m incredibly grateful for the path it’s led me on. Baylor University has forever held a special place in my heart. I’m beyond honored to have the privilege to work with such a profound program of athletes and staff while being back on Baylor ground.”
Oates was hired by the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in February of 2019 to start and build the UMHB 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 the Cru earned the program’s first victory in its next meet at East Texas Baptist.
UMHB finished with a 1-1 record after that inaugural season was cut short and canceled in March. Oates went on to guide the Cru to 3-3 records each of the last two seasons. They swept the NCATA’s Division III awards in 2022 and placed 23 student-athletes on the NCATA academic honor roll.
She has twice had the opportunity to start an Acrobatics and Tumbling program in her young coaching career. Before joining UMHB, she spent two years at West Virginia Wesleyan College as that school’s inaugural coach. Oates was hired in January of 2017 and spent a year recruiting to the program before guiding the Bobcats to a 4-4 record in their first season of competition in the spring of 2018. Oates also spent one semester as a volunteer assistant coach at Baylor University . She is a Belton native, and her father, Jerry Pate, served as an athletic trainer for UMHB and Baylor.
Oates is a 2016 graduate of Baylor University with a degree in studio art with a concentration in photography. She was a four-year letter winner for the Baylor Athletics and Tumbling program and won two Team National Championships with the Bears (2015, 2016). Oates also won three individual National Championships during her time at Baylor.
She was a three-time Academic All-Big 12 selection and was also named to the Academic All-Big 12 Rookie Team as a freshman. Oates was an eight-time Big 12 Commissioners Honor Roll and Dean’s List selection during her collegiate career. She is also a graduate of Belton High School, where she was a four-time All-American cheerleader and a Regional Qualifier as a pole vaulter.
Courtney (formerly Pate) and her husband, Gabe, were married in December of 2020. She is the daughter of Jerry and Vicki Pate. Her brother, Tyler, is a UMHB graduate and played soccer for the Cru. Her younger sister, Cassidy, is a graduate of Baylor.
To stay up to date throughout the season on all things Baylor acrobatics & tumbling, follow the team on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: @BaylorAcroTumb.