A former volleyball player at UNC-Greensboro is taking on a new role this fall as the volleyball coach at Radford High School. Karen Adams takes over a program that has consistently fought for both a regional and state crown for the past three years, bringing home the 1A title two years ago.
“I am excited about the season moving forward. The girls have really worked hard in the off-season and preseason and they have set high goals for the season. I have had a chance to watch these girls over the last two seasons, and they are the reason I decided to coach this year,” she said.
Adams has a daughter that is in the program and takes over for Jessica Mitchell who resigned after only one year.
The Bobcats fell in last year’s state 1A semifinals to Mathews High School after winning the state championship in 2015. Radford was the conference and West Regional champion last season.
Adams played at Greensboro from 1997-2001. In 1999, she recorded 1,158 assists to lead the team and then 1,281 the following year. She averaged 10 assists per game in both seasons.
She has limited coaching experience but has been around the sport of volleyball in some way or another since she graduated from college. She has coached travel volleyball both while living in Boston and Virginia Beach, and her family has been involved in volleyball in some way for the last 15 years.
She has watched the Radford team for the last two years and saw the potential in each of them and as a team.
“They had two very successful years but you could see they still weren’t satisfied. As a program (eighth grade, jayvee and varsity), there were more girls from Radford that played travel volleyball in the off-season than I have seen in the past. Girls worked in the off-season in the gym and in the weight room. They went to team and individual camps. These girls have a drive and determination to be the best and I admire that. I am competitive by nature but also as a mom of five girls I feel motivated to share with other female athletes just as my coaches did with me years ago,” she said.
Adams sees a lot of potential in this year’s squad and is excited to be a part of the ride
“We sat down as a team early on and wrote out our team goals. We also discussed everything it would take to get there,” said Adams. “We want to go back to Richmond, but we also know it’s going to take a lot of hard work and determination to get there. We are focused and taking it one day, one step at a time. I believe in these girls and am proud to be a part of the Bobcat tradition.”
The key for this year’s team, according to the new coach, is focus.
“The girls have the skills in their repertoire already. Of course, we continue to build off these skills and practice to become better players but I hope to really assist these girls in developing their mental game. We talk in practice every day about being intentional in every move and play you make,” she said.
Adams believes that being a student athlete teaches you skills that you will use for a lifetime. Those include teamwork, leadership, understanding your role (leader or follower) and communication–all skills that you can use in every aspect of your life even when you are not playing a sport.