A true veteran of the professional
football ranks, player personnel director Bob Gates brings
over 37 years of experience in football and athletics to the
He comes to Birmingham from the XFL office in Stamford, Conn.,
where he was the fourth person hired by the XFL and was very
instrumental in the organization process of the league from
a football operations standpoint.
The words Bob Gates and player personnel are virtually synonymous
in the professional football world. Including the Thunderbolts,
Gates has coordinated and organized three professional football
teams player personnel departments.
He has evaluated hundreds of potential professional football
players, as well as implemented procedures for operating football
franchises and a pair of minor-league sports leagues.
Players passing through the Gates scouting and evaluation
system have made their marks in the NFL, CFL, USFL, WLAF and
Arena leagues. In fact, working in the Thunderbolts organization
was a homecoming of sorts for him.
The XFL marks Gates third time around in Birmingham. He was
director of football operations and player personnel director
for the Birmingham Stallions of the USFL from 1981-87, before
serving as both assistant general manager (1990-91) and general
manager (1991-92) of the WLAF Birmingham Fire.
Gates career in professional football began in 1976 as an
area scout for the NFL Buffalo Bills. From there he came to
the Stallions before taking on the task of league player personnel
director ad assistant football operations director for the
Arena Football League (1987-88).
He served as a scout for various professional football teams
before returning to Birmingham in 1989 as general manager
of Birminghams entry in the World League of American Football.
From 1991-94 he was a consultant to the Sunshine Baseball
League and the Ohio Glory of the WLAF.
Prior to coming to Stamford for the startup of the XFL, Gates
was the football operations manager from 1994-98 for the London
Monarchs of the World League of American Football.
A long-time resident of Birmingham and 1967 graduate of Peru
State College in Nebraska, Gates and his wife Joyce are the
parents of one daughter, Wendi. They also have a grandson,