In Memoriam – James Adams, longtime RIC coach


James Adams
Former RIC men’s basketball head coach James "Jimmy" Adams passed away on June 1. He was 73.

Adams spent 21 years at Rhode Island College, serving as an assistant athletic directorin addition to his coaching duties. He retired in September 2000, but then worked part-time as a supervisor at the college’s Recreation Center until the fall of 2008.

Adams joined RIC in 1979, compiling 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 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 RIC, Adams was an assistant coach under Dave Gavitt at Providence College. The Friars compiled a record of 159-59 while Adams was an assistant, and the team reached the NCAA Final Four in 1972-73.


He also coached at Central High School in Providence, where he led 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.