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Adams steps down at Annandale

Annandale football coach Dick Adams, who has been head coach at his alma mater since 1990 and guided the Atoms to state titles in 1993 and 1994, resigned Wednesday, citing burnout.

Adams, 52, said he will remain at the school as assistant athletic director and does not plan to pursue any coaching jobs.

“I’m not trying to sound dramatic,” Adams said, “but for 30 years, I’ve just put everything on the back burner — my wife, family — and put Annandale High School first. And no regrets. It’s been great.

“Everybody has been telling me, ‘You’ve got to slow down, you’ve got to slow down,’ and you can’t. The only way I can slow down is to step out.”

Many head football coaches do not coach another sport; Adams, an assistant at Annandale from 1982 to 1989, also coaches in the Atoms' wrestling and track programs. He also runs a lawn service.

Only the fourth coach in the school’s 56-year history, Adams led Annandale to Virginia AAA Division 6 state championships in 1993 and 1994, winning 26 consecutive games during those seasons. He finishes with a 132-83 record, having weathered community demographic changes that in part led to some leaner years from the mid-1990s into this decade.

The Atoms reached the playoffs in four of Adams’s first five seasons, and three times in the past five years. His teams from 1995 through 2004 did not reach the playoffs, although the Atoms did post five winning seasons during that span. Annandale has not won a playoff game since its championship years.

Adams, known for a demanding, no-nonsense coaching style that yielded aggressive teams, played at Annandale under noted coach Bob Hardage, whom he later assisted and eventually replaced. Four of Adams’s varsity assistants this past season were Annandale graduates. Adams’s son, Rick, was a senior quarterback-defensive back at Annandale in 2009.

Adams was the longest-tenured head football coach in Fairfax County at one school. Bruce Hanson has coached at Arlington County school Yorktown since 1985. Tom Verbanic started at Fairfax in 1989 but left there to start the Westfield program in 2000.

Even with the Centreville job open just a few miles from his home, Adams said he has no intentions of coaching elsewhere and that he would remain at Annandale if he wanted to continue to coach. The new Annandale coach will inherit All-Met receiver Melvin Robinson, who will be a senior next season.

“I’m not like one of those guys who retires and in a couple of years pops up again at another school,” said Adams, a 1975 graduate of Annandale. “No. I’m good.”

Retiring from football might give Adams more opportunities to sneak off to his favorite hiding spot — his cabin in northern Michigan.

“It’s about the size of a garage, but if I could be there right now, ice fishing....” he said. “It’s my fortress of solitude. It’s a little place, and it’s old, but it’s all mine, and it’s a great place to get away to.”

By Preston Williams  |  January 20, 2010; 4:05 PM ET
Categories:  AAA Patriot District , Annandale , Football , Northern Region  
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Comments

Wow, it has been 20 years already. Mr. Adams was our PE coach when he was promoted to Head Coach. He was a tough son-of-a-gun. I remember all of the football players in our gym class were so afraid of him.

Posted by: sqt2525 | January 21, 2010 8:58 AM | Report abuse

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