New leadership for volleyball team: athletic department selects Ryan Adams for head coach position

“It’s always been a dream…of mine to be a head coach,” Ryan Adams said, “and when this opportunity presented itself within the Patriot League, which I’ve been a part of for three years, I thought it was just a prime opportunity for me to step in and go for it.”

Adams will be the next coach of the Lafayette volleyball team. Athletic Director Sherryta Freeman made the announcement last Tuesday that the search committee had chosen Adams to succeed Terri Dadio Campbell as the team’s head coach.

Freeman said the committee was led by Andrew Foster, the Associate Athletic Director for facilities and operations.

“Ryan emerged from a talented pool of candidates with his clear passion for mentorship, partnership, and providing a positive student-athlete experience,” Foster said.

Adams comes from Patriot League rival Bucknell University, where he was an assistant coach for the volleyball program. He graduated in 2009 from Cal State Northridge, where he played for their team before coaching a few high school and college teams. 

“[Being head coach is] something that I’ve always wanted to do and Lafayette seemed like the perfect opportunity,” Adams said.

With four years of Patriot League experience under his belt, Adams said the conference is getting more competitive every year.

“Through my stint at Bucknell, we’ve had some of our best years and some of worst, but we found a good chemistry in figuring out how to win and compete within the Patriot League and I think that’s going to be vital in the next chapter of Lafayette volleyball,” he said.

Adams has only met the team’s recruits for the next group of freshmen, but he plans to meet the rest of the team next week.

“I think that we’re forever evolving,” Adams said. “I think I bring a unique player’s aspect to my coaching philosophy. I played at a high level and I’m hoping to transfer that to the young women on the team.”

While at Bucknell, Adams saw the team improve quickly. They broke a streak of nine losing seasons while he held a position on the coaching staff. 

“The combination of being a good ball control-skilled team, and being able to side out early and score points effectively is kind of my motto and philosophy of how we coach and get better through practicing and doing the right things in the gym every single day,” Adams said.

“I think there’s a place for every student-athlete, whether big or small, it’s just finding that right balance of where you’re gonna get the right student-athlete experience and you’re going to be able to compete at the highest level,” he added. 

Lafayette turns to Adams after a season in which they went 5-23 overall and 0-16 within the Patriot League. He said Lafayette’s small school atmosphere could work to the benefit of the team. 

“I’ve always gone to or been a part of the underdog schools, whether it was a player at Cal State Northridge or coaching at Bucknell,” he said. “I think I love being the underdog and going up and competing and knocking down the bigger schools.” 

“I’m more than willing to take on a challenge, and I’ve done it before at Bucknell and I don’t think it’s too different than what we’re trying to accomplish moving forward,” he added. 

About AJ Traub

AJ Traub '20 is the assistant sports editor of The Lafayette. He studies geology and French.

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