published Saturday, June 18th, 2011

Bama prep veteran new coach at Rhea

Danny Adams, a veteran who has coached in Mississippi, Georgia and Alabama, has been hired as the football coach at Rhea County.

“He has the experience, the leadership qualities and the knowledge,” Rhea County principal Jesse Messimer said.

Adams comes to Evensville from Winfield High in western Alabama, where his 2010 team went 7-5. In his eight seasons there, Winfield had a record of 77-24. There was a five-year string of 10-win seasons (2003-07), including 14-1 in 2004 when the team reached the 3-A state championship game.

Adams has been a head coach for more than 30 years, compiling a record of 214-118 with 14 conference championships, three perfect regular seasons and just six losing seasons.

“He has a fire and enthusiasm about him that’s contagious,” Messimer said.

In Alabama, Adams also coached at Greenville, Muscle Shoals and Pike County. His lone stop in Georgia, for just a season, was at Worth County. His won a state title at Lawrence County High, a Class 4A school in Mississippi.

“He has more than 100 wins in Mississippi and in Alabama. I think we were able to hire him because he’s looking for a challenge,” Messimer said. “He’s a class act, a good Christian man with high morals, and he has a background coaching at rural schools.”

The principal said Adams was already packed up and will arrive in Rhea County over the weekend.

“He plans to meet with the [remaining] coaches Sunday night,” Messimer said.

Adams replaces Jason Fitzgerald, who resigned last month along with two of his assistants, Walt Cameron and Matt Hampton. Coaches still on the staff include Mike Davis, Tommy Mitchell, Jeremy Fitzgerald and volunteer Roy Guthrie.

The new coach will have to rely on those assistants.

“He may be hindered this first year because of the time frame, not being here for spring practice and not knowing the talent level,” Messimer said, “but I think he’s a quick study in evaluations, and I think those evaluations will be fast and sure.

“I don’t think we’ll know what type offense or defense we’ll have until he does his evaluations. He plans to work with what he has and expect the best of what the kids have.”

Adams did not return phone calls Friday to his home in Winfield.

about Ward Gossett...

Ward Gossett is an assistant sports editor and writer for the Times Free Press. Ward has a long history in Chattanooga journalism. He actually wrote a bylined story for the Chattanooga News-Free Press as a third-grader. He Began working part-time there in 1968 and was hired full time in 1970. Ward now covers high school athletics, primarily football, wrestling and baseball and University of Tennessee at Chattanooga wrestling. Over a 40-year career, he has covered ...

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