Teacher leaves legacy

Dick+Adams+works+on+paperwork+during+his+last+few+weeks+of+being+the+Assistant+Director+of+Student+Activities.

Bayley Brill

Dick Adams works on paperwork during his last few weeks of being the Assistant Director of Student Activities.

There are few people who can honestly say they embody AHS as a whole; Dick Adams is one of those people. Many know him for his back-to-back state championships, but he also was the varsity and JV wrestling coach, as well as the assistant track coach, on top of being a history teacher.

As an AHS graduate of the class of 1975 he was not only an instrumental part of the teaching and athletic departments of AHS, but the sports teams as well. He was one of the first people to go to AHS as a student, then return as a faculty member, and began the tradition of doing so. He is part of an exclusive group of people who have been able to touch and shape thousands of teenager’s lives over the course of 33 years in the education system.

He did not impact just students and players; but family as well. Jamie Carayiannis, an AHS administrator shared a special bond with Adams. When Carayiannis was in 7th grade, his father married Adams’ mother, and they became step brothers.

“We hardly knew each other before our parents got married. Athletics was the thing that created the bond between us,” Carayiannis said.

Carayiannis recalls Adams as a player on and off of the field.

“He was an outstanding football player. The thing about Adams was he was the guy I wanted in my huddle, not because he was my brother, but because of the kind of person he was and the kind of player he was. If you were in a fight, he was the kind of guy you’d want next to you,” Carayiannis said.

Halfway through his second year as a security guard at J.E.B. Stuart High School, Adams’ former football coach Bob Hardage found a job for him teaching at AHS. He became a history teacher here, and began his 31 years at AHS. He took over as head wrestling coach, assistant track coach, as well as assistant football coach.

In 1990 when Adams’ former coach retired, he took over as the head football coach. Throughout his coaching career he was known for his no-nonsense style of coaching, but he had a reason for it.

“I taught all of my kids to be courteous and respectful, and [through that] you would be incredibly successful,” Adams said.

And to former players, his no nonsense coaching style paid off.

“He expected us to work harder than we thought we could, which made us grow as people,” Bill Curran said. Curran is currently the FCPS Student Activities and Athletics Director as well as a former player for Adams.

In 2001 the former Assistant Director of Student Activities left to become the Director of Student Activities at Stuart, and Adams took over the position.

“I take care of the fields, all of the fundraising like gold cards and Atoms Challenge, as well as schedule transportation for all sports and the scheduling for all teams,” Adams said.

Throughout his career at AHS, Adams has touched thousands of lives, and changed many for the better. He has left a legacy that is uncomparable to many, and will not be forgotten anytime soon.

“I met Coach Adams when I was 13, and for 17 years he’s been the only man and real father figure in my life,” former player Jeremiah Davis said. Davis is now the head football coach at West Potomac High School. “When I was a junior in high school he sat down with me, and told me I could be great, but he told me about the importance of getting my grades up. I did, and ended up committing to Penn State.”

Despite tirelessly working for AHS for the past 31 years, Adams is looking forward to his retirement.

“I started a landscaping company 33 years ago to make ends meet, and I recently merged with a former teammate, and we plan to continue that,” Adams said.

Adams also has started to work with USA Football and their Heads Up program, which tries to make every level of football safer, by trying to change the rules and playing style of football, reducing head first collisions.

Unsurprisingly, Adams does not think the idea of coaching again is too far fetched.

“I wouldn’t mind to coach again, even if it’s at the youth level,” Adams said.

Adams is not entirely excited about leaving, though. He will miss coming to the school everyday and doing what he loves.

“I’m here almost seven days a week, every year— I don’t know many people who love getting up early to go to their job every day-— and I do. I’ve been incredibly fortunate,” Adams said.