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Paul Adams
Born (1936-07-10)July 10, 1936
Waukegan, Illinois
Died March 14, 2019(2019-03-14) (aged 82)
Awards Illinois High School Football Hall of Fame (1991)
Second Lieutenant
Paul Adams (American football coach)
Buried at North Chicago, Illinois
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1957–1961
Rank US Army O1 Second Lieutenant

Paul A. Adams (July 10, 1936 – March 14, 2019) was an American football player and coach. He spent his entire coaching career at Deerfield High School in Deerfield, Illinois. In 1991, he was elected to the Illinois State High School Football Hall of Fame,[1] and in 1992, the Waukegan Sports Hall of Fame.[2] Upon his retirement, the Chicago Tribune described him as "legendary"[3] and "king of the north suburbs".[4]

Early lifeEdit

Adams was born in 1936, in Waukegan, Illinois. He attended and played football at Waukegan High School, and after graduating, attended University of Illinois, where he played football for the Fighting Illini as a tackle and roomed with future Green Bay Packers star Ray Nitschke.[5][6] Upon graduating, he served in the United States Army until his discharge in 1961, having attained the rank of Second Lieutenant. He then briefly taught at Highland Park High School, before transferring to Deerfield, where he remained until his retirement.[6]

Coaching careerEdit

Adams was initially an assistant coach at Deerfield, under then head coach Doug Kay. He became head coach in 1967 after Kay left to become defensive coordinator at Indiana State University. During Adams' tenure, his teams suffered only one losing season, attained a lifetime record of 220–56, and were Illinois State Champions in 1975.[6] DHS were State runners up in 1977, 1981, and 1984, and appeared in the Class 5A State playoffs a record 15 times.[7] In 1976, he participated in the annual University of Michigan football clinic with then New York Jets coach Lou Holtz and Michigan coach Bo Schembechler.[8] Adams and his assistants were noted for their inspiring speeches to their players, and their support for each other during times of crisis; when Adam's mother died in 1986, the entire team attended her funeral.[9] In 1987, the Chicago Tribune listed DHS under Adams as the second most successful football team in the Chicago area over the prior ten years, with a record of 93–19.[10] Over the years, he was frequently noted for his success, and later referred to as "legendary" by multiple publications.[6][7][11][12]

Notable players coachedEdit


  1. "All Hall of Famers". Retrieved 18 March 2019. 
  2. "Senate Resolution number 1148". p. 540. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 Sakamoto, Bob (August 24, 1992). "Deerfield's Adams Will Leave Legacy Behind". Chicago Tribune. p. 11. 
  4. Sakamoto, Bob (August 30, 1992). "'Secrets' of Their Success". Chicago Tribune. pp. 19; 22. 
  5. Graham, Gordon (November 5, 1956). "Graham Crackers". The Journal and Courier. p. 22. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Sadin, Steve (March 17, 2019). "Paul Adams, legendary Deerfield football coach, dies at 82". Deerfield Review. Retrieved 18 March 2019. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 Deardorff, Julie (September 3, 1993). "Legendary Takeover". Chicago Tribune. p. 12. 
  8. staff (April 7, 1976). "U-M Sets Grid Clinic". Detroit Free Press. 
  9. Hoellen, John (November 14, 1986). "Deerfield's character undefeated - even by death". Chicago Tribune. p. 9. 
  10. Shnay, Jerry (August 31, 1987). "How Some Programs Stay on Top". Chicago Tribune. pp. 8;14. 
  11. Vajdik, Melinda (August 31, 2011). "Legendary Coach Paul Adams Cuts Ribbon for New DHS Turf". Retrieved 18 March 2019. 
  12. staff (August 29, 1997). "Grayslake (5-4) at Prairie Ridge". The Daily Herald. p. 4. 
  13. staff (May 1, 1997). "Jurewicz free to excel with Panthers". Deerfield Review. 
  14. Lindsay Knapp stats & bio Archived 2007-09-30 at the Wayback Machine.

External linksEdit

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