Hubert Benjamin Gates, 76, an award-winning cross-country and track coach whose teams at Spingarn High School won seven city championships and seven eastern division championships, died July 25 at Prince George's Hospital Center. He had diabetes.
Mr. Gates was named cross-country coach of the year in 1987 by the National High School Athletic Coaches Association, which named him to its hall of fame. He was a four-time regional coach of the year and was also elected to the D.C. Coaches Association hall of fame.
Mr. Gates taught driver education at Spingarn, where he was on the faculty from 1965 to 1991. Earlier in his career, he taught physical education in St. Mary's County.
He was a native of Lynchburg, Va., and a resident of Washington. He attended Hampton University, graduated from Seton Hall University and did graduate work in education at Federal City College and the University of the District of Columbia.
While serving in the Army during World War II, he ran on the military's All-American track team and recorded the fifth-fastest 440-yard hurdle time in the world.
Before he joined Spingarn, Mr. Gates was a laborer with the General Services Administration and the Naval Gun Factory, a messenger at the Veterans Administration and a mail carrier. He worked for the Census Bureau and D.C. Highway Department and drove for Diplomat Cab Co. In later years, he was a summer recreation worker in the District.
At Spingarn, four of his teams achieved national ranking. He had seven straight undefeated cross-country seasons. He also founded the Spingarn High School Invitational Cross Country Meet and a relay competition.
Mr. Gates also taught job survival seminars at Lorton Youth Center. He was a lecturer and a writer of short stories and other fiction, including a romantic novel, "Never to Rise Again." He was a substitute teacher at Anacostia High School and worked with the girls' track team in the past year.
Mr. Gates was a Mason, which was among the organizations that gave him honors, and a member of Omega Psi Phi social fraternity, the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars and East Washington Heights Baptist Church in Washington.
His wife of 40 years, Mary Odessa Gates, died in 1993.
Survivors include a daughter, M. Catherine Gates of District Heights, and two grandchildren.