CHARLESTON, S.C. - Charleston Southern head football coach Mark Tucker has named Mike Adams as the Buccaneers' new safeties coach.
Adams comes to CSU after spending the past three seasons at the University of South Alabama where he worked with the program's nickel backs and inside linebackers.
"Mike is an outstanding teacher and has been a part of several very productive defenses, "Tucker said of Adams. "He has been a member of two South Alabama bowl squads and has a wealth of experience that that will greatly impact our team. He has a genuine love and appreciation for our young men and we are blessed to have him."
Adams looks to boost a young secondary that has been among the nation's best over the past several years in the FCS rankings. The Buccaneers finished third overall in the FCS rankings this past season in passing yards allowed (158.8) per game and 20th in passing efficiency defense at 114.42. CSU was seventh overall in total defense in the FCS in 2016.
Tucker expects an immediate impact on the secondary.
"One of Mike's strengths is his communication skills," notes Tucker. "He brings stability to the program and experience from an FBS level. He'll teach our players to be incredibly sound in technique and hold young men accountable. It's going to be exciting to see the growing relationships he builds with the players in our program."
Adams, for his part, is ready to help the Bucs continue their defensive success.
"I've known coaches and men who have played here and they all speak very highly of Charleston Southern," Adams said of the opportunity to come to CSU. "The most important thing about coaching is building relationships and being around the players. We're going to have certain expectations and looking for guys with tough mindsets. We're going to work hard to help our players achieve their true expectations and get ready for the upcoming season."
Adams' efforts at South Alabama helped the senior trio of Maleki Harris, Davin Hawkins, and Desmond LaVelle set career-high tackle totals as the Jaguars ended the year fourth out of 11 teams in the Sun Belt Conference rankings in both total and scoring defense — in addition to allowing less than 400 yards per outing, the unit was less than a half point from standing second in the league in the latter category.
He joined the staff prior to the start of spring practice in 2014 after helping South Carolina State post a winning record in seven of eight seasons, four conference championships and a quartet of NCAA Football Championship Subdivision playoffs berths.
Adams arrived at SCSU in 2006 as defensive backs coach and special teams coordinator — he was promoted to defensive coordinator two seasons later — and would help the Bulldogs record a 64-30 (68.1%) overall mark while going 52-12 (81.3%) in Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference action. SCSU won two outright (2008 and '09) league championships and shared two others ('10 and '13) during that span, while he helped 13 individuals earn all-MEAC accolades.
His efforts aided eight former Bulldogs in reaching the National Football League: Phillip Adams, Rafael Bush, Dominique Ellis, Jakar Hamilton, Kimario McFadden, Marshall McFadden, Joe Thomas and Christian Thompson.
Adams led a unit during the 2013 campaign that topped the FCS level in total (238 ypg) and pass efficiency (92.35 rating) defense, also ranking second against the run (90.9 ypg) and pass (147.1 ypg) and third in scoring defense (15.2 ppg). The Bulldogs ended a two-year postseason drought, claiming a share of the MEAC crown while finishing 9-4 on the season including a 7-1 record in the conference.
SCSU was first in the country in pass defense, second in total and pass efficiency defense, and fourth against the run and in scoring defense en route to a 9-3 mark and a playoff appearance in 2010. The previous fall — while going 10-2 with an undefeated league record — Adams guided a unit that ranked in the top 10 nationally in four of those categories; the Bulldogs were 11th in pass defense as well that year. SCSU also won 10 contests and was undefeated in MEAC play in 2008 while allowing just 17 points per outing, a figure that was seventh in the nation.
Adams is a 1998 Ball State graduate earning a degree in sport administration. He served as a student assistant during the 1997 season. The next three years he was an assistant at St. Joseph's (Ind.), where after his first season on the staff he made the move from working with wide receivers and running backs to guiding Puma defensive backs.
Prior to joining the SCSU staff, Adams served as defensive backs coach and special teams coordinator at West Georgia.
He is married to the former Natasha Taylor, and the couple has one son, Nataysuan.