Union Grove

Union Grove coach Roger Adams talks with his players after practice on Oct. 23, 2014. Adams retired in 2018, but is returning to the sidelines this fall at Union Grove.

Roger Adams wanted to retire and gave it his best shot. He just wasn’t very good at it.

Adams, who won more than 100 games as a head football coach at Hallsville, New Diana and Union Grove, will be back on the sidelines Monday when high school teams in the lower classifications — and 6A and 5A teams that did not hold spring practice — begin drills for the upcoming season.

“When I retired (following the 2018 season), I said I would be a football official and that’s what I did for two years,” Adams said. “I thought that would ease the pain of being separated from the great sport of football, but all it did was throw wood on the fire.”

So, he’s back.

Adams will coach the defensive line at Union Grove. He’ll also help with the track program and will be the school’s powerlifting coach.

Adams has a career record of 105-87, going 45-31 at Hallsville, 17-23 at New Diana and then helping Union Grove become a perennial playoff contender while going 44-33 at that school.

His first team at Union Grove went 2-8, but the Lions improved to 5-6 the next season and advanced to the playoffs for the first time since 1968. The Lions made the playoffs five straight seasons from 2013-2017, and went 6-4 in Adams final season as head coach.

The team had four winning seasons in Adams’ seven hears on the sidelines. Prior to that, the Lions had recorded five winning seasons since 1968.

Current Union Grove head football coach and athletic director Scotty Laymance was hired by Adams as the team’s defensive coordinator.

“He’s done so much for me as far as my career goes,” Laymance said. “You always look to surround yourself with quality people. The kids want to be coached, don’t get me wrong, but they would rather be around quality people and there aren’t many better people in the world than coach Adams. This is great for me, the program, the kids and everyone involved.”

Adams was an assistant coach at Hallsville for three seasons before being named head football coach and athletic director there.

Prior to that, he was an assistant at Kilgore from 1981 through 1995. A 1977 Kilgore graduate, he played fullback, nose guard and linebacker for the Bulldogs before playing nose guard at Kilgore College in 1977 and 1978. he played linebacker and special teams at Stephen F. Austin State University for two years.

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Follow Jack Stallard on Twitter: @lnjsports

Sports editor

I've covered sports in East Texas since 1987, starting as a 21-year-old sports editor at the Kilgore News Herald before spending seven years at the Lufkin Daily News and the past 23 years at the Longview News-Journal.