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Mike Adams

Mike Adams - Football - Virginia Cavaliers

Mike Adams joined the Virginia staff as its linebackers coach in March of 2024. Adams came to UVA after coaching during the 2023 season at Mercer and working at West Georgia as the Wolves’ defensive coordinator and linebackers’ coach since December of 2023.

Adams and Fralin Family Head Coach Tony Elliott previously coached together at South Carolina State as assistant coaches during the 2006 and 2007 seasons. Over his 26-year coaching career, Adams has mentored over 15 players who went on the play in the National Football League.

Prior to his most recent coaching stint at West Georgia, Adams worked for five seasons at Mercer where he was the defensive passing game coordinator and coached the Bears’ safeties. In 2022, Adams coached Mercer safety Lance Wise Jr., a finalist for the Buck Buchanan Award which honors the top defensive player in the Football Championship Series (FCS). Wise was a three-time captain and three-time all-conference selection for Mercer.

Before Mercer, Adams coached at Charleston Southern from 2016-2018. He was instrumental in Charleston Southern ranking fourth and 22nd among FCS teams in passing yards allowed (139.4 yards per game) and total defense (324.7 yards allowed per game), respectively, in 2018. Charleston Southern ranked among the FCS top-25 in total defense all three years that Adams was on staff, including seventh in 2016.

From 2014 to 2016 Adams coached at South Alabama. He coached the Jaguars’ linebackers (2014) and safeties (2015-16) and helped them reach the 2014 Camellia Bowl. In his first year coaching linebackers at South Alabama, a trio of players set career highs in tackle totals as the Jaguars ended the year fourth out of 11 teams in the Sun Belt Conference rankings in both total and scoring defense — in addition to allowing less than 400 yards per outing.

From 2006 to 2014, Adams coached at South Carolina State, including seven seasons as the program’s defensive coordinator. He helped the Bulldogs post a winning record in seven of eight seasons and earn NCAA Football Championships Subdivision playoff berths in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2013.

Adams arrived at SCSU in 2006 as defensive backs coach and special teams coordinator — he was promoted to defensive coordinator two seasons later and helped the Bulldogs record a 64-30 overall record mark while going 52-12 in Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference action.  SCSU won two outright (2008 and 2009) league championships and shared two others (2010 and 2013) during that span, while he helped 13 individuals earn all-MEAC accolades. His efforts aided nine former Bulldogs in reaching the National Football League: Phillip Adams, Rafael Bush, Dominique Ellis, Jakar Hamilton, Darius Leonard, Kimario McFadden, Marshall McFadden, Joe Thomas and Christian Thompson.

Adams led a unit during the 2013 campaign that topped the FCS level in total defense (238 ypg.) and pass efficiency (92.35 rating) defense, also ranking second against the run (90.9 ypg.) and pass (147.1 ypg.) and third in scoring defense (15.2 ppg). The Bulldogs ended a two-year postseason drought, claiming a share of the MEAC crown while finishing 9-4 on the season including a 7-1 record in the conference.

SCSU was first in the country in pass defense, second in total and pass efficiency defense, and fourth against the run and in scoring defense en route to a 9-3 mark and a playoff appearance in 2010.  The previous fall — while going 10-2 with an undefeated league record — Adams guided a unit that ranked in the top 10 nationally in four of those categories; the Bulldogs were 11th in pass defense as well that year.  SCSU also won 10 contests and was undefeated in MEAC play in 2008 while allowing just 17 points per outing, a figure that was seventh in the nation.

Adams earliest coaching experience came at Ball State when he served as a student-assistant coach in 1997. The next three years he worked as an assistant at Division II St. Joseph’s College (Ind.) as the running backs and wide receivers coach (1998) and defensive backs coach (1999-00). Adams also spent five seasons (2001-05) with NCAA Division II-level West Georgia, where he coached tight ends (2001) and defensive backs and special teams (2002-05).

An active participant in the National Football League’s coaching internship program, he has completed observations with seven NFL teams.

A native of Indianapolis, Adams graduated from Ball State in 1998 with a degree in sports administration. He and his wife, Natasha, have one son, Nataysuan and a daughter, Sasha.