Former New England Patriots tight end Ben Coates was elected to the the team hall of fame. A committee consisting of media members, Pats Hall of Fame Inductees, and team staff chose Coates over center Jon Morris and running back Jim Nance, all fan-selected finalists.
In nine seasons Coates caught 490 passes for 5,417 yards and 50 touchdowns. In 1994 he set the record for tight end receptions with 96 passes, also a Pats franchise record for total catches. Coates played in five Pro Bowls, and was a perpetual fan favorite.
“I feel great about it. It feels great to have the fans make the choice,” said Coates. “The other nominees were great competitors and I am honored to be the inductee. I guess it was my time, and what better time to be inducted than the year the team is opening The Hall at Patriot Place.”
Coates will join Bruce Armstrong, Stanley Morgan, Nick Buoniconti, Jim Lee Hunt, Gino Cappelletti, Michael Haynes,Bob Dee, Vito “Babe” Parilli, Steve Nelson, Steve Grogan, Andre Tippett, and John Hannah in The Hall.
The Hall at Patriot Place will open for the start of the 2008-2009 season.