FAYETTEVILLE -- Supporters of Fayetteville High School athletics gathered Wednesday to honor the past and welcome the future for the Bulldogs' basketball program.
Brad Stamps was introduced as the next head coach at Fayetteville minutes after Kyle Adams was cited for his 37 years as a coach, including the past nine years as the varsity boys coach of the Bulldogs. Stamps is a former Fayetteville player who has spent the past four seasons as an assistant on Adams' staff.
Stamps will take over the team that finished 21-6 overall and won the 6A-West Conference championship with a 12-2 record last season. He was hired in 2015 at Fayetteville after six years as head coach at Springdale.
"It's my dream job," said Stamps, who became emotional briefly while talking about Adams, his mentor, and his promotion to head coach of the Bulldogs. "Growing up as a kid in Fayetteville and having the opportunity to come back and take over at your alma mater, that's special."
The move is expected to become official when the Fayetteville Board of Education votes during its meeting on April 25.
Adams' resignation brings an end to the career of one of the most successful coaches in Northwest Arkansas. Adams coached his last game on March 1, when Fayetteville lost 63-58 to eventual Class 6A state champion Fort Smith Northside in the quarterfinals at Bentonville West High School.
"I have some mixed emotions, it's sad, but I'm looking forward to being a grandpa first, a little golf, then a little fishing third," Adams said. "It's been a dream journey for me as a coach and as a player, and having Brad come back to be my assistant. I couldn't ask for me."
Wednesday's gathering was held in the Fayetteville High School cafeteria, where friends, school officials, and players mingled afterward with Stamps and Adams, who is retiring at the end of the school year.
"Coach Adams was a great example for us, not only as basketball players, but guys growing into young men," Fayetteville junior guard Connor Barnett said. "He showed us how to take responsibility for what we do, to overcome the obstacles that we have, and to work together as a team."
The transition is expected to be smooth from Adams to Stamps, who played on Fayetteville's state championship team in 1987. Adams coached Stamps at Woodland Junior High in Fayetteville and later gave him his first coaching job as a Woodland volunteer in 1993.
"The transition to coach Stamps is going to be as smooth as any could be," Barnett said. "He's been one of my best coaches ever and I can't wait to play under him. I think it's going to go great."
Stamps has been groomed to replace Adams since he left Springdale, where he compiled a record of 102-67 in six seasons and led Springdale to the Class 7A state championship game in 2014. Stamps also spent four years as head coach at Shiloh Christian after he was an assistant for two years at Springdale Har-Ber.
"Brad is a Purple Dog through and through," said Dr. John L Colbert, superintendent of Fayetteville schools. "We are very confident he will continue the tradition of great basketball for which the Purple Dogs are widely known. He is filling some big shoes."
At a glance
POSITION Head basketball coach
EXPERIENCE Ten years as a head coach, including six at Springdale High and four at Shiloh Christian.
NOTABLE Served as assistant coach at Fayetteville since 2015. …. Former Fayetteville player who helped the Bulldogs win a state championship in 1987. … Head coach for six years at Springdale High and led the team to a second-place finish in the state tournament in 2014. … Head coach for four years at Shiloh Christian and spent two seasons as an assistant at Springdale Har-Ber. … Graduated from John Brown University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Management and Business. … First hired by Adams as a volunteer coach at Woodland Junior High in 1993.
Sports on 04/11/2019
Print Headline: Stamps to succeed Adams as Fayetteville boys basketball coach