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Born in Knoxville, Tennessee, Bill Bates attended the University of Tennessee, where he was a 4-year starter at safety from 1979 through the 1982 season. After going undrafted in the 1983 NFL Draft, Bates signed with the Dallas Cowboys following the NFL Draft. In just his 2nd year in the NFL, Bates was an All-Pro selection and also appeared in the 1984 Pro-Bowl. Known for his character and work ethic, Bates’ was the recipient of the Cowboys’ Bob Lily Award for 4 consecutive seasons, from 1990 to 1994. The award goes to the Cowboys’ player who displays leadership and character on and off the field, as voted by the fans. Throughout his career, with the Dallas Cowboys, Bates won 3 Super Bowls (XXVII, XXVIII, XXX). The father of 5 children with his wife Denise, Bates is currently a motivational speaker and runs a cattle ranch in North Dallas.