Snapshot Of Mike Adams’ Coaching Career
200 WINS WITHIN REACH
FARMINGTON — Interestingly Farmington coach Mike Adams has ties to all three high school football games played Tuesday, Aug. 29.
Adams is credited with turning Charleston’s program around after taking over as head coach there in 1983. On Aug. 29, Charleston scored with 8 seconds left to steal a 29-23 victory over Dardanelle. The Tigers adapted after the loss of eight starters on offense from last year’s team, forging a 13-play, 79-yard game-winning drive.
One of Adams’ former players at Charleston, Doug Loughridge, earned his 100th career victory as head coach of the Alma Airedales, one of Farmington’s rivals among the 5A West. Loughridge led Alma past 7A Van Buren, 21-14, Aug. 29.
Although Farmington lost their season-opener, 36-13, to rival Prairie Grove in the annual ‘Battle of 62’ Aug. 29, reaching the 200 career win plateau is still within reach for Adams (193-133-2).
Coming into the 2017 season, Adams is third among active coaches. He trails only Mike Malham Jr., of Cabot; and Van Paschal, of Barton.
Passing The Torch
Adams’ son, Spencer, is Farmington’s offensive coordinator and also head coach for the seventh grade. Now in his seventh season, Adams thinks Spencer is a candidate to become a head coach in the future.
“It’s been cool to have Spencer here and have him grow as a coach,” Adams said. “He’s approaching the point now where he’ll go somewhere else. That’s good for him and sad for me.”
Spencer is a chip off the block, inheriting his father’s diligence and passion for the game.
“His best asset is he’s a tireless worker,” Adams said. “He’s not afraid of work. He’ll do what’s necessary to get his guys going.”
Purple’ dog Volunteer
Midway through college Adams realized how much he enjoyed being around football and changed majors. That decision was accompanied by an opportunity to work as a volunteer assistant with former Fayetteville coach Joe Fred Young, who later led Fort Smith Northside to a 1987 state championship. Harvey Smith was defensive coordinator and Adams learned everything he could from both men.
“I really started out as a defensive coach,” Adams said. “That’s how I got the job at Charleston. That’s what I leaned on. We focused on defense. I learned offense as I went along.”
Early in Adams’ career the Tigers used a split-back veer eventually evolving into a Wing-T. Fayetteville was still operating a Wing-T when Adams joined the Bulldog staff where he later became head coach.
“It was at Fayetteville where the coaches were the first big proponents of the zone offense that we use now,” Adams said.
Defensively, Adams’ philosophy remained unchanged employing a base 4-3 defense at each school.
“Through that, I’ve always been a 4-3 guy, that’s been a foundation of what we’ve done,” Adams said.
Return To Roots
Adams got away from the 4-3 two years ago switching Farmington to a 4-2-5 in an effort to match up with spread offenses of the 5A West. During this past offseason, he made a strategic decision to discontinue the 4-2-5, which, in his evaluation, frequently put defenders out of position and unable to make a play while executing various stunts and blitzes.
“I’ve just never been comfortable with it (the 4-2-5),” Adams said.
Adams believes the foundation of a good defense starts with the tackles and is optimistic as the Cardinals revert to a 4-3. According to Adams the 4-3 empowers concentration on perfecting basic technique and frees players up to be faster to the football.
“The whole key is you’ve got to have two technique people at defensive tackle,” Adams said. “I think we’ve got two good people, who can do that.”
New Football Facilities
There is one basic component of football Adams zooms in on as Farmington prepares to construct a brand new football stadium with coaches’ offices and indoor training facility.
“We’ve got a plan now where everything is going to be laid out,” Adams said. “The track is going to be a separate facility from football, which I think is a good thing.”
Adams eagerly awaits the completion of a new weight training center for Cardinal football players.
“The thing that most interests me obviously is the weight room. We have 70 guys in a weight room that’s designed to serve 30 so it has its limitations right now. The weight room is probably the thing I’m looking forward to right now more than anything.”
Spoken like a true football coach, always looking at what preparations need to be made for future competition.
Farmington hosts longtime rival Huntsville in nonconference action Friday. Kickoff is at 7 p.m. at Allen Holland Field.
Football intensity runs in the family. Farmington offensive coordinator Spencer Adams, son of head football coach Mike Adams (right) asks an official why no flag was thrown after a Cardinal ball carrier was brought down by his face mask during a 5A West game.