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End of an era: Highly successful coach Adams stepping away – Altoona Mirror

Photo for the Mirror by Derrick Cleveland
Retiring Altoona boys track and field coach Mike Adams hugs his son, Jake, after he earned a silver medal on Saturday.

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SHIPPENSBURG — One of the last things Mike Adams did as an athlete at Altoona Area High School was earn a silver medal at the PIAA Track and Field Championships.

Saturday, in one of his last actions as the Mountain Lions’ coach 32 years later, he placed a PIAA silver medal around his son’s neck.

“It was pretty sweet with him winning a medal at my last state meet,” Adams said. “That was a nice moment.”

It was the final of many for Adams, who graduated from AAHS in 1990 and won a gold medal in the 400-meter relay and a silver in the 200 dash his senior year before competing at Penn State, where his son, Jake, will also compete starting next year.

After shouting a few words of advice and encouragement from just beyond the fence across from the long jump pit at Shippensburg University’s Seth Grove Stadium Saturday morning, Adams turned his hat backward before Jake’s final jump and ran his hands over the top of his hat a couple of times.

“I was real nervous. I’m not going to lie to you,” Mike Adams said. “No one was jumping really far today. When he had that 22 (feet) and got out to the lead, I thought he had a chance (to win gold). Credit to (champion Brendan Leneghan of Saint Joseph’s Prep), he won it on the last jump of the competition, and he beat him.”

With that jump, Jake Adams narrowly missed becoming the fourth outdoor track individual state champion under his father’s guidance. Adams also coached two relay teams to state championships, won two state team titles (in 2008 and 2010) and coached 40 athletes to state medals in outdoor competition alone.

“It’s been an honor having my dad as a coach,” Jake Adams said. “He knows so much about it and cares so much for it, and I love it, too. It’s great to have him here for this.”

Adams plans on following his son, literally, to Penn State and across the country, so he recently made the decision that Saturday would be his last day as the Altoona boys track and field head coach.

“I want to watch Jake next year,” Adams said. “My wife and I want to see him jumping in college. We want to travel and watch him, and that’s the most important thing I’ll be doing.”

Building a state power

After graduating from Penn State in 1995, Adams joined the Altoona coaching staff as an assistant in the 1999-2000 season before he took over in the 2004-2005 school year.

“He came on as an assistant under Tom Musselman, and at that time, we had a very good track program,” Altoona athletic director Phil Riccio said. “But with Mike’s knowledge of the sprints and his strength training, it started to grow even more to where it has blossomed now that when you mention track, you mention Altoona, and that’s because of Mike …….

Source: https://www.altoonamirror.com/sports/local-sports/2022/05/end-of-an-era-highly-successful-coach-adams-stepping-away/

Photo for the Mirror by Derrick Cleveland
Retiring Altoona boys track and field coach Mike Adams hugs his son, Jake, after he earned a silver medal on Saturday.

SHIPPENSBURG — One of the last things Mike Adams did as an athlete at Altoona Area High School was earn a silver medal at the PIAA Track and Field Championships.

Saturday, in one of his last actions as the Mountain Lions’ coach 32 years later, he placed a PIAA silver medal around his son’s neck.

“It was pretty sweet with him winning a medal at my last state meet,” Adams said. “That was a nice moment.”

It was the final of …….

Photo for the Mirror by Derrick Cleveland
Retiring Altoona boys track and field coach Mike Adams hugs his son, Jake, after he earned a silver medal on Saturday.

SHIPPENSBURG — One of the last things Mike Adams did as an athlete at Altoona Area High School was earn a silver medal at the PIAA Track and Field Championships.

Saturday, in one of his last actions as the Mountain Lions’ coach 32 years later, he placed a PIAA silver medal around his son’s neck.

“It was pretty sweet with him winning a medal at my last state meet,” Adams said. “That was a nice moment.”

It was the final of …….

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