Kenneth Adams was a basketball star at Douglas High, but baseball was his real forte and he went on to star in that sport Jacksonville State University.
He's one of the 2019 inductees into the Marshall County Sports Hall of Fame. Here's his official Hall of Fame biography:
Kenneth Merrill Adams was born on July 24, 1947, at the Albertville Infirmary to C. J. and June Adams of Boaz. He has one sister, Cynthia Lowe of Boaz. Ken played Little League and Pony League baseball in Boaz until his family moved to Douglas when he was in the eighth grade.
At Douglas, there was not an organized school baseball team, but Kenneth began playing basketball. He played under legendary coach Cecil Pruitt in the tenth grade, Jay Dye in the eleventh grade, and 2005 MCSHOF inductee Thomas Rains as a senior.
His teammates included MCSHOF inductees Wayne Wigley (2002), Richard Hayes (2007) and Joe Teal (2019). In the 1964-65 season, the Eagles won the Region 5 Tournament and went to the AHSAA State Tournament in Tuscaloosa. The Eagles played hard, but lost to eventual State Champion Priceville to end their season.
Douglas did not have a baseball team until Ken’s senior year in 1965. However, he also played catcher on the Albertville American Legion team and with the Guntersville Redbirds. The Legion Team was coached by Jacksonville State Assistant Coach Bobby Martin and included 2010 MCSHOF inductee Gerry Ledbetter. Coach Martin was so impressed with these two players that he offered them an opportunity to play baseball at Jax State.
The Gamecocks were coached by Guntersville native, Raymond “Dirty” Wedgeworth, a 2004 MCSHOF inductee. Adams played catcher, right field and first base for four years and the Gamecocks won the Alabama Collegiate Conference (ACC) Northern Division title all four of those years.
One of Ken’s proudest moments was when he presented JSU President Pete Mathews with the game ball on the day that the baseball field was named in Dr. Mathews’ honor. Adams graduated in 1969 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Physical Education and a minor in Mathematics. He also received a Master’s Degree in Driver Environmental Safety in 1982 and taught Math, PE, and Driver Education during his career.
After graduation, Coach Adams’ first job was teaching math and assistant basketball coach at Woodville HS under head coach Jack Tate in 1969-70. That team won the Region and went to the 1970 AHSAA State Tournament in Tuscaloosa. In 1970 he returned to Douglas High to coach under Coach George Hoblitzell on the first Eagles football team and basketball alongside former teammate and now head coach, Richard Hayes.
The varsity team won both the Area and Region championships and advanced to the 1971 AHSAA State Tournament, finishing in third place. One of the stars on that team was 2018 MCSHOF inductee, Rex Mitchell. Kenneth’s 1986 Junior High Team beat Cullman in the Holly Pond Invitational Tournament and went on to a 30-1 record, losing only to Albertville in the finals of the Marshall County Tournament.
Kenneth coached both football and basketball at Douglas for a total of 20 years, working alongside Hall of Fame coaches Gerry Ledbetter, Rex Mitchell, John Allen, Gerald Thomas, and HOF nominee Paul McAbee.
Other than Woodville and Douglas, Coach Adams’ 42-year coaching career included stops at Cleveland, West End, and Patrician Academy in Alabama. After retiring in Alabama, he moved to Georgia, where he coached at Temple Middle School from 2001-2008 and Mt. Zion Middle School from 2008-2011. His Mt. Zion team won the Carroll County Championship in 2009.
Coach Adams has also sponsored the Fellowship of Christian Athletes at each school in which he has coached, served as a deacon at First Baptist Church in Douglas, and is a minister at the Deeper Life Christian Food Bank.
Throughout his 42-year career in education, Coach Adams’ dedication to his family, students, players, church, and community has positively affected the lives of thousands who have fallen under his sphere of influence.
Kenneth is married to Tina Christopher Adams, a retired elementary school teacher. He has a son, Chadd Adams, and a daughter, Megan June Earl. Kenneth also has three grandchildren: Nash Adams, Jaycee Adams, and Jacqueline June Earl. Nash is following in his grandfather’s footsteps as an outstanding baseball player for the JSU Gamecocks.