Very few high school football coaches in the state of Alabama ever loved the game and understood the value it can have for young people better than Jere Adcock. It wasn’t enough to love his own players and care for his beloved Decatur High School. He felt a responsibility to protect and improve the game for the next generation of players and coaches. Pretty heavy stuff for a guy who went to Auburn University to get a business degree. But sometimes you just get lucky.
Jere Adcock was an all-around athlete at Handley High School in Roanoke in the early 1970s. When he graduated, he thought he might want to go into coaching.
“My basketball coach, Marvin Rochelle, whom I had ultimate respect for, talked me out of it”, Jere said. So he
got that business degree and returned to Roanoke to work in the family grocery business. While he was working, he coached the local youth teams in the afternoons and realized he had a heart to coach young people. Then luck prevailed, and in 1979 the family decided to sell the business or Jere might have been the best pee wee coach in Alabama for the rest of his life. He returned to Auburn to get an education degree and by 1981 was on the varsity coaching staff back at Handley working for Coach Bill Ragle. He worked as varsity basketball coach and defensive coordinator in football, and later as baseball coach. The football teams got better and by 1983 they made it all the way to the 2A semifinals.
Then in 1987 he got lucky again.
‘I met this cute young lady that was working in Atlanta on a blind date,” Jere says. “Set up by some friends of ours. I decided that she was the one and I needed to marry her before football season, and I did.” He and Lynda married and he left Roanoke for McIntosh High School in Peachtree City, Georgia. He spent four years there working for Coach Sam Riddle, who taught him the importance of a strong relationship with the other coaches and their families. He reunited with Coach Ragle as defensive coordinator at Smiths Station for two seasons in 1992 and ’93. When Coach Ragle left to take a job in Florida, Jere and Lynda were looking for a more permanent coaching home .
He got lucky again.
A college friend put him in touch with Steve Rivers at Decatur High School and he and Lynda packed up their family of three children and headed to north Alabama.
“I could have been an assistant for Steve Rivers for the rest of my life,” Coach Adcock said. “He made all of his coaches feel like they were the best thing in the program. He taught me how to be a head coach.” When Coach Rivers left to go to Athens just before the 1996 season, Jere Adcock was named the new head coach at Decatur High School. But this time it wasn’t luck. All the essentials of coaching he had learned from those older coaches he had put into practice. His hard work and dedication had helped him earn the job.
Jere Adcock would coach at Decatur High for 27 years. He was successful because he could communicate with coaches, players and parents and taught faith, family, academics, school, and community. His keen knowledge of strength and speed development powered the Red Raiders, and he believed that his football program should equip student athletes to be productive in life. He won 187 games at Decatur with 7 region titles and 21 playoff appearances. He has had over 60 All State players at Decatur, 10 who played in the Alabama-Mississippi All Star game and 14 who played in the North South All Star game.
Jere Adcock’s contribution to this game he loves has been extraordinary. He served as President of the Alabama High School Coaches and Athletic Directors Association and has spent 18 years on the Alabama Football Coaches Board of Directors as first vice president. Coach Adcock was a 19 year member of the Alabama-Mississippi All Star selection committee. His dedication to the players showed as well. He created the North Alabama Quarterback/Receiver and Defense Skill Camp and the North Alabama Recruiting Expo which he ran for 18 years. He served as an assistant and head coach of the Alabama-Mississippi game as well as coaching in the North South All Star Game. Jere Adcock has always spoken up, never missed an opportunity to promote the game he loved so much.
Bob Godsey has been his coaching friend for thirty years. “Jere always does things the right way,” he said. “He cares enough about kids to be hard on them with their best interest in mind. No one can argue with what he accomplished at Decatur High.”
But the highlights of Jere Adcock’s career centered around family, and how lucky he has been. “Coaching my son Riley and then having him on our staff was as good as it gets,” Coach Adcock said. “Having my daughter Jordan cheer and be my first female trainer. Then have my daughter Marah cheer for us, those were the highlights that you can't put a value on. Seeing most of my 10 grandkids after every game waiting on "Big Coach'. Watching my two oldest grandkids at practice and running balls in, that is beyond a price tag.”
The Alabama Football Coaches Association is proud to present its Lifetime Achievement Award to Coach Jere Adcock.