Mark Adams isn’t one to bring attention to himself.
Adams, an assistant coach with the Texas Tech men’s basketball team, will have to abstain from that rule at least for one day as he is inducted into the Wayland Baptist Hall of Honor.
Adams joins Kirby Dunn, Daniel Franklin, Serenity King, Kristina Edwards Lee, Joe Lombard, Dr. Claude Lusk, Don Christa and Caren Smith, and Jodie Young, who will all be initiated during a 9:30 a.m. Saturday ceremony held at the Laney Center on the WBU campus in Plainview.
“I’m just excited to see some old friends, some I haven’t seen in several years,” Adams said. “Mainly, I’m just grateful and thankful for all of the people that helped me get here: past administrators, family members and, of course, the players.”
A native Brownfield, Adams was born into a blue-collar family that took pride in growing cotton in the South Plains. His twin brother, Matt, farms peanuts and also has a vineyard.
“They wouldn’t claim me as a farmer, since I wasn’t too good at it,” Adams quipped. “But my father (Tom), who loved sports and athletics, was an athlete and gained a scholarship to play football at Texas Tech, but left because they didn’t have boxing as a sport there. … Hardin-Simmons did, so he transferred there and competed in boxing and football.”
Tom Adams parlayed his success to Hardin-Simmons where he is now a member of the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame as a boxer and football player. The elder Adams was a member of the of the 1949 International Boxing Team and lost eight matches in more than 100 career decisions.
“He’s also the only man to win five gold gloves,” said Mark Adams, who won regional Golden Gloves titles in Lubbock and Amarillo as a 156-pound light-middleweight boxer. “He was a huge influence.
“My brother Matt and I played football, baseball, basketball and even boxed. And we always loved it. We were a sports family.”
In short, Mark Adams took plenty of notes from his father — a retired farmer — before choosing to make sports a central part of his life.
Following his high school graduation back in 1974, Adams garnered a basketball scholarship from nearby South Plains College in Levelland. He would transfer to Texas Tech and get his bachelor’s degree, but also gained some valuable knowledge from the legendary coach Gerald Meyers.
“Coming to Texas Tech was probably a big step for me,” Mark Adams said. “As a student assistant I was able to watch and observe coach Gerald Meyers, who let come to home games and practices. That was so beneficial and advantageous, especially when I got out of college and he recommended me for other jobs.”
Soon enough, Adams christened his coaching tenure at Clarendon College (1981-1982) where he began a career that included rebuilding several programs.
In the case of Clarendon College, which won 18 games in three prior seasons, Adams accumulated 46 in two seasons and claimed the highest finish in conference and regional in program history. He is Clarendon’s winning coach in the past 60 years.
After enjoying success in Clarendon, Adams trekked southwest to Wayland Baptist.
Thanks to bringing a pair of talented players in Tim Thomas and Greg Pinkney, Adams said he was able to establish a winning attitude that led to great success in his second year on the job.
In the ‘84-85 campaign, the Pioneers finished with a program-best 30-10 record on the way to a runner-up finish in the NAIA National Final. Thomas is the boys varsity basketball coach at Odessa Permian, while Pinkey was an assistant at Texas Tech from ‘91 to ‘99.
“I think the term culture is overused. You just try to change the environment and teach kids that they can win,” Adams said when asked of how he was able to engineer multiple turnarounds. “I mean, it’s much more difficult to take over a losing program because I think the real challenge is getting them to believe themselves.
“But it’s so gratifying to see the joy on their faces. I just give all the credit to those kids because you have to be coachable and they have to believe in what you’re trying to do.”
He later was a head coach at West Texas A&M (‘87-92), Texas-Pan American (‘92-97) and Howard College (‘04-13) before returning to Texas Tech as director of basketball operations from ‘13 to ‘15. He moved up to an assistant role as part of Chris Beard’s staff at Arkansas Little-Rock until a series of unique events allowed them to return to Lubbock.
“Being from Brownfield, the Red Raiders were a team I kept up with, for sure,” Adams said. “So it’s really special to be back.”
In 20-plus years as head coach, Adams amassed an impressive record of 554-244 reached the postseason 14 times and national tournament eight times — three in the NJCAA, twice in NCAA Division II and twice in the NAIA — including taking Wayland Baptist University to the NAIA National Final in 1985.
Adams has been married to his wife, Jennifer, for the past 28 years. The couple has two children: Abbie and Luke, who played basketball at Texas Tech.
“When you look at some of the other inductees like Joe Lombard from Canyon, you have to be thankful to be in this group,” Adams said. “I have to thank a lot of people for getting me here.”
Wayland Baptist University Hall of Honor inductees
Mark Adams, Kirby Dunn, Daniel Franklin, Serenity King, Kristina Edwards Lee, Joe Lombard, Dr. Claude Lusk, Don Christa and Caren Smith, and Jodie Young
Powered by WPeMatico