James Adams is bringing tradition back to Pinellas Park.
Adams was an All-Suncoast guard for the Patriots' 1981 football team. Monday he became the varsity football coach.
He first returned to Pinellas Park after college and turned around a junior varsity squad that had been winless in three seasons. In 1990 he led the team to its first undefeated season (8-0), followed by a 5-2-1 record the next year. In 1992 he left to coach under his mentor, Rob Jenkins, at East Lake.
"We're real excited to get him back," said Alec Liem, Pinellas Park principal. "He's real hard-working, real organized and a proven winner."
The Patriots have had back-to-back winless seasons under former coach Thad Starling, and Adams knows his job will be tough. "I have accepted a task that will be a lot of work," he said. "I can't expect to turn it around in a year. I've got to put back Pinellas Park football and team pride."
Adams, 30, intends to do that with the principles he learned from Jenkins _ discipline, organization and constant monitoring of academics. Presently he is an American and world history teacher at East Lake. He will teach social studies at Pinellas Park next fall.
Adams coached tight ends, defensive linemen and running backs at East Lake.
"He has brought some insight and had some good ideas that worked," Jenkins said. "He has a lot of knowledge on the game for someone so young.".