Throughout the 2017-18 season, U SPORTS sits down with one key athlete, coach, and staff member of each U SPORTS athletic program in our new interview series “Getting to know…”
Name: Dave Adams
School: University of Lethbridge
Sport: Women’s Basketball
Position: Head Coach
Seniority: Third year
Previous school/position: Lethbridge men’s basketball head coach
Hometown: Olean, N.Y.
1. How did you first get involved in coaching? What was your path to your position as head coach of Lethbridge?
Started coaching in 1975, as my younger brother’s elementary school needed a coach. Over 40 years later I’m still at it.
2. Who are the people that have influenced you most as a coach?
My life has been blessed with outstanding people who coached me: Jim Whitelaw, Tim Tollestrup, John Affleck, Ken Olynyk. In addition it has been my good fortune to work for Ken Shields, Jay Triano, and Dave Crook. They are all incredible people and extremely successful coaches.
3. How would you describe your coaching style?
4. Which coach do you admire the most, and why?
Larry Steinke who is our amazing track and field coach here. He is diligent, technical, smart as a whip, and a role model for us all.
5. What is the most “out-of-the-box” thing you’ve done as a coach?
Rumour has it that one of my high school teams guarded a referee once. It's an unconfirmed rumour.
6. What is your greatest coaching moment or achievement?
It was my good fortune to win the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) coach of the year for men's basketball.
7. What’s the best advice you can give to an athlete and/or athlete’s parents?
Look for the right fit academically, socially, and style of basketball play, then get a degree while enjoying the sport we all love
8. How have you changed as a coach over time? What principles/values etc. have remained the same?
I’ve changed so, so, so much over four decades - not sure I like my 20-something Dave Adams coaching style and it would not work today. My principles and values have not changed - I am who I am. In my older years my patience, empathy, and understanding has increased as I try to come from a "fail forward" growth mindset.
9. What do you enjoy doing when you’re not in coaching mode?
I’ve been doing triathlons for over a decade now and been proud to represent Canada at six International Triathlon Union (ITU) world championships. It helps me keep understanding the essential connection between athlete and coach.