Matthew Jonas
Carrie Adams (center, an assistant at Niwot) along with son TJ (left, Silver Creek assistant) and daughter Kelly (right, Skyline assistant) are part of a growing family coaching tree.


LONGMONT — They’re teaching skills and guidelines from several St. Vrain sidelines, from Silver Creek to Skyline. They’re the Adams Family.

No, these aren’t the creepy, kooky, macabre Addams from the television show. This Adams family has its own quirky family dynamic that revolves around coaching. They all do it and most of them do it in the St. Vrain Valley School District, where they began their prep playing careers.

Working as the program coordinator for the Silver Creek High School Leadership Academy, family and coaching matriarch Carrie Adams currently is the junior varsity girls basketball coach at Niwot High. A graduate of Boulder High, she got her start coaching girls basketball at Skyline High in 1994.

While Adams has been about as involved in area athletics as one can get, she never expected her children to follow in her coaching footsteps. They’re all just products of their environment.

“All the time while the kids were growing up, I coached high school and at the rec club and coached at camps with Ceal Barry at CU,” Adams said. “We were always taking them to games and players would always be over at our house. So the kids got into this zone of sitting in the living room watching film and being ball boys and girls and things like that. It just kind of became their life.”

Adams is not exaggerating.

Of Adams’ five children – Erin (29 years old), Mike (27), Kelly (25), TJ (22) and Travis (20) – four of them went on to become coaches. Of those four, both Kelly and TJ Adams returned to coach in the St. Vrain district.

A former softball and basketball player at Niwot, Kelly Adams is now in her third year as the C-team girls basketball coach at Skyline. She also coached junior varsity softball at Silver Creek this past fall.

While all of the Adams children were decent players, Kelly Adams said they each fell in love with the coaching side of sports above the playing side. As each Adams developed his or her own love for X’s and O’s, choosing a dinner conversation topic began to take care of itself.

“It’s really fun that we all love it and we all talk about it all the time, which annoys some people,” Kelly Adams joked. “We love the game so much and we all listen to what the other has to say and give them tips. I do think it’s a gift and you want to share that gift, that knowledge and that fun with everyone else.”

Of all the sports the family plays, basketball takes the cake. In this family, Carrie Adams said the first day of March Madness is an official holiday. The kids didn’t go to school and the family would sit and watch every game.

TJ Adams, who was an outstanding basketball player at Silver Creek, had no problem with that.

“The dynamic was nonstop basketball, just basketball, 24-7,” TJ Adams said. “We had to plan a lot while we were all playing and mom was coaching just to make sure everyone got where they needed to go. A lot of the knowledge I learned about coaching was just from sitting around listening to my mom and (current Niwot head girls coach) Terri Ward talk about basketball.”

TJ Adams learned the value of film study at a young age but it wasn’t until an injury thrust him off the court and into an assistant coaching role his senior year of high school that he began to envision his future as a coach. After he went on to play in college, TJ Adams returned to the Longmont area and took varsity assistant coaching positions with the boys basketball and football teams at Silver Creek.

While Carrie Adams is excitable and boisterous on the sideline, and both Kelly and TJ were passionate players, her children developed calmer coaching styles. Carrie Adams suspects their father Scott Adams serving as a basketball and football official in the area for years is the reason why.

The Adams coaching trail didn’t begin with Kelly and TJ, either. Eldest sister Erin Adams, who played basketball and soccer at Skyline, runs a youth soccer program in Fairfax, Iowa. Oldest brother Mike Adams, who played baseball at Niwot, is the junior varsity baseball coach at Westminster High School.

Like their sitcom equivalant, the Adams family is pretty big already. The many, varied connections the Adams have to coaching, teaching and playing in the St. Vrain, however, has taught them to look past local rivalry and see themselves as a part of a bigger family within the district.

“Obviously in the St. Vrain, we develop our little rivalries,” Carrie Adams said. “But we certainly feel strongly that all the kids in the district are part of the family. It doesn’t matter what color they wear.

“They (the Adams children) got a lot out of growing up with athletics and being involved. They had some outstanding coaches to teach them the game. There’s just that giving back mentality in the family of how can you give back to the community and helping kids through athletics is how we can do that.”

Follow Brad on Twitter: