Bob Adams has played a role in the lives of many people who grew up in Yadkin County.
As a football, basketball coach, history teacher and guidance counselor there were not many children he didn’t impact during his 36 years working as an educator.
Adams came to Yadkin County when he started the fifth grade. His father was hired as the manager of the Pepsi plant in Jonesville and he moved the family to the Arlington area. Adams graduated from Jonesville High School in 1957.
He went on to attend Appalachian State University where he would obtain a degree in history, social studies and physical education and eventually a master’s in counseling education. Adams will tell you that the most important thing that he gained while attending ASU was his wife, Dixie.
“I was sitting on the wall outside the cafeteria watching the girls come out and I asked my roommate if he saw the girl in the white and red dress and I told him I was going to marry her,” Adams said. “He just laughed and said I didn’t even know who she was but I told him I would know before the day was over.”
So Adams set off to do just that. He followed her to bookstore and waited for her to come out and when she did he introduced himself and asked her on a date that weekend.
“I asked if she would like to go out with me that weekend,” Adams said. “She told me she had a date this weekend, but she told me to ask her again. So I asked her again immediately if she would like to go out on Sunday and she said yes.”
From that moment on the couple was inseparable, and on Dec. 26, 2012 they celebrated 53 years of marriage.
“It was a good move on my part; she was the best thing that ever happened to me,” Adams said. “I didn’t have the sense that God gave a Billy goat before I met her.”
The couple returned to Adams’ hometown and both took teaching jobs at Boonville School. While Dixie taught elementary education, Adams taught U.S. history, economics and sociology as well as served as head coach for the girls’ basketball team and assistant coach for the football team.
Adams said that he felt that athletics were important for him growing up and they continue to serve the same purposes for kids who participate today.
“I think athletics teaches kids a lot of things: discipline and respect and also the coach learns those things too,” Adams said. “It’s not just a one way thing. I always tried to treat the kids like they belonged to me. I didn’t cuss them and I didn’t grab them. I wanted them to feel like they belonged to me and I guess that’s why I got along with them so well.”
When the schools consolidated, Adams was moved to Starmount High Schools were he continued his role as a history teacher but he was given a new role as the first football coach for the school.
“The kids that I had the pleasure to work with were really good athletes,” Adams said. “The kids that played ball for me are still my friends and they are still close and keep in contact with me all the time.”
After seven years at Starmount the administration wanted to put Adams’ counseling talents to work and asked him to serve as a guidance counselor.
“I decided to try it a year and see how I liked it and I ended up being really happy with it so I stayed there,” Adams said. “I taught half the day and was in guidance half of the day and still coaching.”
Adams said that all of his different responsibilities started to wear him down so he stepped down as head coach for the football team and assumed the role as assistant coach and eventually moved into his role as a guidance counselor full time.
During this time he and his wife welcomed a son and a daughter. Adams said that his hectic schedule as an educator, counselor and coach kept him so busy that he felt he wasn’t spending enough time with his own children. He said that when his son starting playing sports on a high school level he decided to step down from his coaching career.
“The only reason that I stopped coaching was because my children were getting grown and I wasn’t getting to see them very much,” Adams said. “When my son started playing in high school I quit coaching because I didn’t figure he needed that.”
After 36 years of teaching Adams finally decide to retire with his wife by his side and even though he’s not working day to day for a paycheck anymore, he still keeps himself busy as most full time employees.
Adams is an active member of Boonville Baptist Church where he’s been a member for over 50 years and serves on the deacon board. He also serves on boards for the YMCA, Yadkin County Homeplace and the Yadkin County Library. He’s also served terms on boards for the Yadkin County Foundation and the Northwest Regional Library.
“I try to stay busy,” Adams said. “My wife and I have been retired for 15 years and we try to do things as much as we can in the community. We like to stay active. We want to live a long time but have good sense while we’re there. We don’t want to just grow old; we want to grow old gracefully.”
Adams passion these days is continuing to work on community projects that are important to him as well as spending time with his only grandson, Bobby Eugene Adams III. A sparkle comes to Adams eye when he talks about his seven year old grandson. He shows off a picture of the two of them on his phone and shares that he will get a few phone calls a week and a couple of extended visits a year with him.
Adams said that he is a fine example of what a close community like Boonville can provide for a person.
“I have had some really good people that cared about me and helped me along in my career,” Adams said. “If anybody has ever been taken care of, it’s Bob Adams. If anybody in this world has been looked after and blessed, it’s Bob Adams.”
Reach Lindsay Craven at 679-2341 or at email@example.com.