Rice Meets Southern Miss Friday; No. 10 UCF Sunday
The Rice soccer program added John Adams to the staff as an assistant coach in April of 2010. Adams works with the Rice goalkeepers and back-line, and he has served the past two seasons as the program's recruiting-coordinator. His influence in all the areas is easy to see.
In the spring of 2012 his former Owl pupil, goalkeeper and Rice graduate Catherine Fitzsimmons, became the school's first soccer player to play professionally overseas. After assisting Fitzsimmons with the administrative task of contacting various European pro teams, he also personally trained her to play at the next level.
Helping Fitzsimmons' pro career was after a sensational 2011 collegiate season with the Owls. Last year Adams coached a true freshman goalkeeper, Amy Czyz, to both national and Conference USA honors. Under Adams' daily training, Czyz was named the No. 10 freshman goalkeeper in the country by TopDrawerSoccer.com and a third-team all-conference selection. Czyz finished second in the league in goals-against average (0.73) and with a .795 save percentage. As a unit the Rice keepers finished with eight shutouts and the second-fewest goals-allowed (17) of any team in C-USA.
In 2010 the Owl keeper tandem of Fitzsimmons and Meghan Erkel combined for 100 saves and maintained a composite 0.91 goals-against average. Their performance was critical because Rice ended up starting four defenders on its back row who had never played together before, including two true freshmen. Adams' keepers were up to the challenge of having a young defensive line and responded with six shutouts.
Coordinating the keepers and the backline has been critical to the team's recent success. Last year the Rice defenders allowed just 11.4 shots per game, the lowest total by an Owl backline in four years.
If the Owls' most-recent recruiting class is any indication of Adams' eye for identifying the top players in the state, around the country and beyond the U.S. borders, then Rice soccer is certain to have a bright future. Rice's latest recruiting class was a stellar group that gained national and international attention from college soccer circles.
He joined Rice after working the previous two seasons as an assistant coach across town at Houston Baptist University. At HBU Adams assisted with all areas of the soccer program. He helped the Huskies average nine wins per year while competing in the Great West Conference. In 2009 he coached the HBU goalkeeper to a .781 save percentage and 1.24 goals-against average.
A native of Akron, Ohio, Adams played collegiately at the University of Cincinnati. He was an All-Conference USA selection as a senior while posting a school career record of 0.72 goals allowed in his four years with the Bearcats. After college, Adams played two seasons with the Cincinnati Excite of the AISL. During his first season with the Excite, Adams helped the team to the AISL championship.
He embarked on his coaching career in 2003-04, becoming a graduate assistant at Cincinnati. He was the Director of Coaching at the Southeast Cincinnati Soccer Association from 2006-08, while also serving in a volunteer coaching role at his alma mater in 2007. Adams is a member of the NSCAA, US Youth Soccer Association and he is a Region III coach. He had previously served as an assistant coach for the Puerto Rican women's national team.
John and his wife, Isabel Campos, have one son, futbol prodigy John René Adams. The Adams family were named Rice University resident associates at Hanszen College in May of 2012.