Elmhurst promotes Joe Adam to head coach

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Joe Adam has been on the Elmhurst staff since 2007 and was Tim Lester's top assistant.
Photo by Ryan Coleman, d3photography.com

Elmhurst has named Joe Adam its new head football coach. Adam becomes the 18th head coach in school history, taking over for Tim Lester, who resigned last week to become the quarterbacks coach at Syracuse.

Adam has spent the past six seasons as an assistant coach with the Bluejays, including the past five years as defensive coordinator and recruiting coordinator. He has also served as the team's assistant head coach.

Adam inherits an Elmhurst team that turned in the school's best season. In 2012, the Bluejays won a share of the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin championship for the first time since 1980 and earned the school's first trip to the playoffs.

Elmhurst scored an opening-round victory over Coe and finished the season with a school record for wins (10-2 overall). The Bluejays earned a top-10 national ranking in the final D3football.com poll.

"I'm very excited to lead the Elmhurst football program into uncharted territory," said Adam. "Obviously, the goal is to continue to build upon the success that we obtained last year and see how far we can take it."

"As this is a crucial time in the offseason, we felt that promptness had to play a role in our hiring process so that we could continue moving forward in player retention and recruiting," said Elmhurst athletic director Paul Krohn. "Fortunately, we didn't have to look far to find the right candidate. Joe was the right-hand man of Tim Lester and was highly endorsed by Tim for the job. As the team's recruiting coordinator, Joe was essential at bringing in the players that helped turn our program into a CCIW champion. I had noted in Joe's last performance review that he was going to be an excellent head coach and I'm pleased that it will be here at Elmhurst College. Joe is going to be an excellent fit for our institution and our football program."

Prior to joining the Bluejays' coaching staff in 2007, Adam spent a year at Western Michigan as a graduate assistant coach under the tutelage of Scott Shafer, the new head coach at Syracuse. Adam helped Western Michigan to a 7-4 record and their first bowl game in almost 20 years. Adam spent three seasons coaching at Grand Valley State where he was a part of two NCAA Division II Championship teams in 2003 and 2005. While at Grand Valley, Adam served one year under Brian Kelly, now head coach at Notre Dame and two seasons under Chuck Martin, now Kelly's offensive coordinator.

Adam began his collegiate coaching career at Harper Community College where he served as the defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator. During his five years at Harper, the squad made appearances in four junior college bowl games.

Adam knows that maintaining the team's recent success will not come easy, but he is ready for the challenges.

"We had a tremendous season in 2012 and we'll have our work cut out for us next season in replacing the production of 20 seniors, including one of the most prolific running backs in Division III history in Scottie Williams," he said. "We were excited to build a championship program last year, but the real challenge for any coach is building a program that can sustain success. Last year's group of seniors helped change the culture around our program in their four years at the college and they set the bar very high. Our challenge now is to build on that success and raise the bar even higher."