Photo by Bryce Owen ’17 | Walker Adams ’16 (left) instructs Jake McIvor ’18 (right) on the sidelines vs Westview, Sept. 2.
By Jack Davis ’19
Mr. Walker Adams ’16 exited the field for the last time Oct. 11, 2015 in Brophy’s 38-35 loss to Hamilton.
It was later revealed that he had torn his ACL for the second time in his career.
Almost 11 months later, Mr. Adams is preparing Brophy players for an upcoming game as a linebackers coach.
Since his injury, Mr. Adams has been working to reattain his pre-injury status on the gridiron.
“I’ve been coaching for Brophy, rehabbing, getting ready to start attending my part-time classes for Scottsdale Community, and working on getting recruited again,” Mr. Adams said.
Mr. Adams isn’t content with settling as a linebacker for the Artichokes, aspiring to move up to the Division-1 level.
“The ultimate goal is to get back to playing in the Pac-12 where I was originally recruited,” Mr. Adams said.
Mr. Adams’ rehabilitation process has been slow but not stagnant.
“Rehab is good,” Mr. Adams said. “I’m, for the most part, healthy now. I’m pretty much just training but I still have about a month left of working out, I think, until I’m full strength.”
Around his Brophy graduation, Mr. Adams was fully cemented as a linebackers coach.
“It was a combination of coach [Mr.] Moore and coach [Mr.] Molander both talking to me about it and finally setting it in stone around May last year,” Mr. Adams said.
Coaching is something Mr. Adams has thought about as an occupation after his playing career, and the chance to bring his wisdom to a coaching staff came sooner rather than later.
“I’ve always thought about coaching when I was done playing,” Mr. Adams said. “This was just the next logical step while I was still in town with not a lot to do.”
Brophy linebacker Max Fees ’17 was immediately excited upon hearing the news of Mr. Adams’ new position.
“When I first heard I thought it was great news,” Fees said. “Walker has always had a coach’s spirit and he is obviously a great linebacker. He’s a close friend and a great teammate and he brings great energy on the field both as a coach and a player.”
If Mr. Adams chooses not to ascend the coaching tree, he plans to study computer science and mathematics in college.
“I’d like to probably major in computer sciences and applied mathematics and do something in that field because that’s really interesting to me,” Mr. Adams said. “There’s a lot of job openings in the future for that.”
Mr. Adams brings youth, relatability and the knowledge he has accumulated over his playing career to Brophy’s coaching staff.
“I think that since I am the youngest coach on the staff by several years, I relate to the kids really well and I’m, to a degree, very knowledgable about linebacker play,” Mr. Adams said. “And with the help of coach [Mr.] Moore, it’s really helping me become a better player at the same time, so I’m enjoying it.”
Fees said he thinks that Mr. Adams’ spirit is the greatest addition to the Bronco coaching staff.
“Walker has a big heart,” Fees said. “He plays with it, he leads with it and he coaches with it. To have his spirit on the coaching staff is a great addition.”
“I had the pleasure of watching Walker play his sophomore year, the year he broke Brophy’s tackling record,” Fees said. “At the time I was the freshman middle linebacker, and Walker modeled the leadership, intensity and pure competitive drive that I hoped to bring to the field myself. We shared a middle linebacker identity and it meant the world to both of us.”
Coach Adams’ favorite thing about coaching so far has been seeing the knowledge he instills in his players come to fruition on the field.
“My favorite thing so far has just been watching the guys that I coach make plays,” Mr. Adams said. “It’s been really exciting to see the guys that you practice with and help train go out there and execute. It’s really exciting.”
“Everybody has been standing out in their own ways,” Mr. Adams said. “Lots of kids are making plays in practice and games. In the film room, in the weight room, all of them work really hard and it’s been super exciting to see all of them get to work.”
Mr. Adams said that the state championship is an important goal, but it is not all that matters.
“The obvious goal is to win a state championship,” Mr. Adams said. “But the end game is to make these kids really good men and to help develop them into becoming better football players for the rest of their lives.”