James N. Adams (posthumously) spent 21 years at Rhode Island College, serving as an Assistant Athletic Director in addition to his coaching duties. He officially retired in September of 2000 and then went on to work part-time as a supervisor at the college’s Recreation Center until the fall of 2008.
Adams’ name was synonymous with Rhode Island College men’s basketball since first coming to RIC in 1979. He compiled a career record of 247-287 in 21 seasons. The Providence Journal chose him as one of the century’s Top 100 Most Influential Coaches and Athletes in Rhode Island in December of 1999.
Under his guidance, the Anchormen captured the ECAC Division III title in 1982-83. Adams was selected as the Little East Conference’s Co-Coach of the Year in 1987-88.
Prior to joining Rhode Island College, Adams was an assistant coach under Dave Gavitt at Providence College. The Friars compiled a record of 159-59 while Adams was the assistant and the team reached the NCAA Final Four in 1972-73.
The bulk of his coaching career was spent at Central High School in Providence where he led his teams to four consecutive state championships. While at Central, Adams taught physical education and served as the assistant principal in charge of discipline. He also coached football, both as an assistant, and then as the Head Coach.
As an undergraduate at the University of Rhode Island, Adams was an outstanding student-athlete as a defensive back in football and as a forward on the men’s basketball team. He was an All-Yankee Conference selection in football and was named to Who’s Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities. He received a bachelor’s degree in physical education in 1958. Adams was inducted into the URI Athletic Hall of Fame in 1981.
He passed away at the age of 73 in June, 2009. Adams is survived by his wife Lola, his three children James III, Karen and Michael and two grandchildren.