By Gary Lloyd
The directions were seemingly inauspicious.
“Turn off the interstate and when you get to the dirt road, turn right,” a voice said through the phone.
It was Clay-Chalkville High School’s first principal, Lawrence Carter, telling Bob Adams how to get to the new school, which would open its doors for the first time in August 1996.
After being hired, Adams laid sod at Cougar Stadium and around Clay-Chalkville High School, hung metal pencil sharpeners to classroom walls. Adams is still at Clay-Chalkville, one of about five original teachers who have been at the high school since its inception, and his role is expanding.
Adams was named athletics director earlier this month by Principal Michael Lee, his duties including paperwork, managing a new Alabama High School Athletic Association computer program, checking player eligibility, making sure coaches have done their due diligence with scheduling and acting as the day-to-day contact for Clay-Chalkville athletics.
“He will set our standards of operation and make sure we’re following the guidelines necessary to keep the Clay-Chalkville program the way it should be,” said head football coach Jerry Hood, who will continue to act as a “helper AD.”
Adams said the job will be a lot of responsibility, but he believes being an organized person will help him with the tasks.
“I take it as an honor to be asked,” said Adams, who also works as the area director for People To People Student Ambassadors.
Adams has built quite a coaching resume at Clay-Chalkville. He’s been an assistant and head coach for the cross country and track teams; he coached softball for six years, including two years finishing as the state runner-up; helped with boys’ basketball two years; was the seventh-grade girls’ basketball coach one year; helped with varsity girls’ basketball three years; served as offensive coordinator for three years for the freshmen football team; was the Clay-Chalkville Middle School head coach for a season; worked with the seventh- and eighth-grade baseball teams for one year; has served as the varsity football wide receivers coach since 2009; and has been the varsity boys’ soccer coach for the past three years.
“He has all the qualities that a good athletics director should have,” Hood said. “Bob was an obvious choice, and he showed an interest in it.”
Lee said he has the “utmost confidence” in Adams, who teaches pre-AP U.S. history. Adams earned a master’s degree in secondary education in history from the University of Alabama, on top of bachelor’s degrees in political science and history, and a minor in criminal law.
It’s rare these days for teachers and coaches to stay at a school as long as Adams has, but it makes sense. He comes from a military family, his dad a retired U.S. Army Rangers colonel. Adams was born in Enterprise (Fort Rucker), and has spent time in Panama; Fort Meade in Maryland; Heidelberg, Germany; and Huntsville.
After graduating from the University of Alabama, he wanted to find a place to “throw down roots and stay as long as I could,” he said. That place is Clay.
“When I got here, it just felt like home,” he said. “It’s been everything I’ve needed and everything I’ve wanted so far.”
Contact Gary Lloyd at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @GaryALloyd.