Tony Bates embarks on his third season as head men’s basketball coach at Governors State University, being named to the post on July 1, 2014. Building a program from scratch, Bates has created an exciting brand of basketball in the Chicago Southland that thrives on an up-tempo offense and pressure defense. Bates also serves as GSU’s Director of Athletics.
In 2016-17 Bates led GSU to eight wins during its first season in the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference, finishing ahead of two other schools in the South Division. Bates guided GSU to a 139-132 victory over Asbury in the NAIA's highest-scoring game of the season and directed his squad to an 18-point win over fifth-ranked St. Francis. The Jaguars finished with a winning record (8-6) at home and ranked as the fourth-highest scoring team in league play, averaging 83.1 points over 21 CCAC games. Bates also recorded a season sweep of his alma mater, Trinity Christian.
Bates led the Jaguars to eight victories during the team’s inaugural varsity season in 2015-16. Season highlights included and a victory against 23rd-ranked Bellevue and wins over both Purdue schools (North Central and Calumet). The Orange and Black closed the season on a strong note, winning four of its last five contests. Bates coached the GSU club team in 2014-15.
Prior to GSU, Bates spent 14 seasons as men’s associate head coach at St. Xavier University (1999-14). During his time in Mount Greenwood, the Cougars compiled a 346-183 record, recording 20-win seasons 12 times and reaching 30 wins on four occasions. SXU also won two CCAC regular season titles, captured five CCAC Tournament crowns and qualified for nine NAIA National Tournaments.
Before arriving at Saint Xavier, Bates held the positions of basketball coach and athletics director at Tabernacle Christian Academy, where he helped start athletics. In 15 seasons, Bates led the Class A Mighty Eagles to a 385-93 record — averaging 25 wins a season despite not having a home gymnasium — and won five straight Metro Prep Conference championships. Bates was also received seven coach of the year awards. Tabernacle captured a regional and sectional title in 1995-96 and won 49 consecutive conference games.
A Chicago native, Bates played two seasons at Trinity Christian College (1984-86), where he was the nation’s fifth-leading scorer in scoring as a sophomore, scoring 507 points in 25 games for a 20.3 average.
Bates received a bachelor’s degree in business administration and marketing from Trinity Christian College in 1988. He also holds a master’s degree in athletics administration from Northcentral University (Arizona).
Tony has a son, Nicholas, and a daughter, Lauren, and resides in Richton Park.
Rick Romeli begins his third season as associate head coach with the Governors State men’s basketball program, assisting with practices, recruiting and game strategies. He also serves as a facilities management supervisor at GSU. This season marks the 13th year Romeli has worked alongside Tony Bates in the coaching ranks.
In 2016-17 Romeli helped GSU to eight victories during its debut season in the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference. The Jaguars finished ahead of two teams in the CCAC South Division standings and recorded an 18-point win over fifth-ranked St. Francis. Romeli also worked with two of the top four scorers in the CCAC in Torrey Oliver and Jalen Miller.
During GSU’s inaugural varsity season in 2015-16, Romeli helped the Jaguars record eight wins, including an upset of 23rd-ranked Bellevue. He also worked with the club team in 2014-15.
Romeli previously served nine seasons (2005-14) as an assistant coach at Saint Xavier University, his alma mater. During that time, SXU teams amassed a 211-139 record, clinched a pair of CCAC Tournament championships and qualified for five NAIA National Tournaments. While at SXU, Romeli worked alongside GSU Head Coach Tony Bates, who was also a member of the Cougars coaching staff.
A native of Lansing, Illinois, Romeli was a two-sport standout at Saint Xavier, playing four seasons of basketball and two years of baseball. He earned All-CCAC First Team honors as a senior captain in 2004-05, leading the Cougars to the NAIA Quarterfinals.
A member of the SXU Athletics Hall of Fame, Romeli still ranks among the school’s top 25 career leaders in eight statistical categories.
Romeli earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting (2006) and a master’s of business administration (MBA) with a concentration on financial fraud (2011) from Saint Xavier.
Rick and his wife Veronica reside in Palos Heights.
Duval Richardson embarks on his third season as an assistant coach with the Governors State men’s basketball team. He also served as head coach for the junior varsity squad during its two years of existence.
In 2016-17 Duval was on the bench for GSU's 18-point win over fifth-ranked St. Francis and was part of the team's record-breaking 139-132 victory over Asbury (the highest-scoring game in the NAIA last season).
Richardson’s prior coaching experience includes 10 seasons (2005-15) as head coach at Olive-Harvey College. Richardson led the Panthers to the National Junior Collegiate Athletic Association (NJCAA) National Tournament and a Region IV Championship during the 2014-15 campaign, and a regional runner-up finish in 2013-14. For his efforts, Richardson was named one of three recipients for the 2015 Illinois Basketball Coaches Association (IBCA) College Coach of the Year Award in NJCAA Division II and earned 2015 Region IV Coach of the Year honors as well. At OHC, Richardson coached GSU guard Torrey Oliver.
A student-athlete in college, Richardson played three years of varsity football and one junior varsity basketball season at Aurora University.
A Chicago native, Richardson earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Aurora University (1994) and added a master’s in education, with a concentration in math, from Kaplan University (2011). He currently serves as dean of students at Jane Adams High School.
Duval and his wife Cyntria have three daughters — Elizabeth, Janah, and Kaytlin — and two sons, Keenan and Duval Jr. The Richardsons reside in Old Town.
Aubrey Volious, who goes by Coach V, begins his second season as assistant coach with the Governors State University men’s basketball team. He is a veteran of 33 years in the collegiate ranks, having coached at the NCAA Division I, NAIA and NJCAA levels.
In his first season with the Jaguars in 2016-17, Volious helped the team to 11 overall wins, including eight victories in the first year of Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference play. GSU knocked-off fifth-ranked St. Francis and finished fourth in conference scoring, averaging 83.1 points per game.
Coach V is no stranger to the CCAC, having served 13 seasons (1997-2010) as associate head coach at Robert Morris University. During that time RMU compiled a 356-92 record, captured 10 CCAC regular season crowns and won eight CCAC Tournament titles. The Eagles qualified for 11 NAIA National Tournaments, advanced to the semifinals six times and finished as national runner-up in 2002.
As a head coach, Volious directed the Malcolm X College program for four seasons (1993-97), where he produced a 67-46 record and graduated 92 percent of his players. He was named Region IV Coach of the Year in 1995-96 and led the Hawks to a regional championship. While at MXC, Volious produced four All-Americans along with the NJCAA’s leading scorer (Johnnie Blake) and rebounder (Eddie Washington) during the 1995-96 campaign.
Most recently, Coach V worked as assistant coach at South Suburban College, where the Bulldogs went 124-20 over four seasons (2010-14) and advanced to the NJCAA Final Four. SCC also claimed three consecutive Region IV championships and finished ranked nationally in the Top-10 three times. Coach V mentored five All-Americans and the 2013 National Player of the Year (Michael Harris).
Volious’ other junior college stop occurred at Triton College (1984-88), where he was an assistant coach as well as a women’s assistant coach (1986-87). In addition, Volious was a member of the coaching staff at Chicago State University from 1988-90 and was head coach with the semi-pro Chicago Beast of the American Basketball Association (ABA) in 2012.
Over the course of his career, Volious has seen 35 former players advance to various levels of professional basketball. Othyus Jeffers reached the NBA and Billy Rush played in the NBDL while Anthony Smith and Jimmy Miles are members of the Harlem Globetrotters.
A native of Buffalo, New York, Coach V has been inducted into the Chicago Public League Basketball Hall of Fame and the Robert Morris University Athletic Hall of Fame (with two teams of distinction). He is a member of the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC).
Volious graduated from Iowa State University in 1981 with a bachelor’s degree in science and physical education and received a master’s of science degree in physical education from Chicago State University in 1990.
Aubrey and his wife Sherri have two sons, Koby and Jerod, and two daughters, Tené and Ashley, along with four grandchildren. The Volious family resides in South Holland, Illinois.
James Cook enters his third season as assistant coach with the Governors State University men’s basketball program. His responsibilities include recruiting, practice instruction, preparing scouting reports, tracking fouls and timeouts during games and assisting with strategy sessions.
Last season Cook was on the bench during the Jaguars' 18-point win over fifth-ranked St. Francis and the team's record-setting 139-132 victory over Asbury.
As a member of the GSU coaching staff during the team's inaugural season, Cook helped the Jaguars earn eight wins, including an upset of 23rd-ranked Bellevue.