A veteran of the UTSA coaching staff since 2009, Chris Adams is in his 15th season working with UTSA’s throwers.
During his time with the Roadrunners, he has coached 19 conference champions and a trio of All-Americans in five-time honoree Richard Garrett Jr., two-time All-American Andrew Akens and 2021 honorable mention All-American Maia Campbell. Additionally, his athletes also have set school records more than a dozen times since his arrival.
Adams mentored a trio of athletes to conference medals in 2022. Indoors, Lacee Barnes claimed bronze in the women's shot put and Acacia Astwood finished third in the women's weight throw at the C-USA Indoor Championships, while Zoe Shanklin secured silver in the women's shot put at the league's outdoor meet.
In 2021, Adams coached a pair of school record-setting performers in Campbell and Barnes. Campbell shattered the school standard in the women's shot put with a winning heave of 17.33 meters (56-10.25) at the C-USA Outdoor, while Barnes surpassed the program mark in the women's discus with a throw of 51.52m (169-0) at the Texas A&M Team Invitational. Campbell went on to earn a spot at the NCAA Outdoor in the shot put, finishing 11th at the NCAA West Preliminary Round and eventually placing 22nd at the national meet in Eugene, Ore.
Adams mentored Campbell to the 2020 Conference USA Indoor shot put title with a school-record measurement of 16.12m (52-10.75) and to a bronze medal in the weight throw, while Paul Bouey earned a third-place finish in the men's shot put at the league meet.
In 2019, Adams' throwers were led by Vincent Perez and Campbell. Perez collected bronze medals in the weight and hammer throws at the Conference USA Championships, while Campbell posted top-eight finishes in four different league events.
In 2018, his throwers combined for five top-three finishes at the Conference USA Championships. Mia HIcks broke the women's school record in the discus with a 50.12m (164-5) measurement that earned her the bronze medal at the Conference USA Outdoor Championship, while Kelsey Benoit was the league's shot put runner-up at both meets.
Adams saw his athletes set four school records in 2017, including Shalise Borden in the weight throw (19.07m), N'Dia Warren-Jacques in the shot put (15.01m), which won the C-USA Indoor crown, and Victor Perez in the weight throw (19.63m) during the indoor season and Perez in the hammer throw (62.87m) outdoors. Gabriel Vargas won the indoor shot put to lead a 1-2-3 finish for the Roadrunners in the event, while Tyler Finke spearheaded a UTSA sweep of the top three spots in the shot put at the conference outdoor meet. His athletes combined for 11 podium finishes during league meets and two throwers moved on to the NCAA Preliminary Round.
In 2016, his throwers combined for seven top-three finishes at the C-USA Championships and Angel Sifuentes broke the school record in the women's javelin with a 44.87m (147-2) effort, while Benoit advanced to the NCAA Championships preliminary round.
Adams helped the UTSA men win the 2015 C-USA Outdoor Championship and post a second-place finish at the league's indoor meet. Jared Tyler won the discus title and that came three months after Akens won the circuit's indoor shot put crown for the second consecutive season. His athletes combined to score a total of 85 points (51 outdoor/34 indoor) at both conference meets in 2015.
He helped lead the UTSA men to the 2014 C-USA Outdoor Championship in their first season in the league and the women finished second at the indoor meet. Garrett Jr. won a pair of outdoor conference titles (discus/shot put) and collected numerous honors, as he was named the circuit's Field Athlete of the Year and Field Performer of the Meet in addition to earning All-America accolades in the shot put with his fourth-place performance at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. Akens also was an All-American (outdoor shot put) and conference champion (indoor shot). In fact, Adams' athletes combined for a total of 63 points en route to the men's league crown.
In 2013, Adams helped guide the Roadrunners men to their eighth consecutive indoor conference title in their lone appearance at the Western Athletic Conference Championships, while the women finished second and just missed their first league crown since 1994. Garrett Jr. was tabbed the WAC Indoor Field Athlete of the Year and he went on to earn first-team All-America honors with his fourth-place finish in the shot put at the NCAA Indoor Championships. Katie Bragg also picked up a league championship in the weight throw and his athletes set four program marks.
Adams helped lead the UTSA men to a Southland Conference indoor/outdoor championship sweep in 2012 and the women recorded their best outdoor finish (second) in 15 years. Garrett Jr. earned second-team All-America accolades at the NCAA Outdoor Championships for the second consecutive season, successfully defended his Southland indoor shot put title and became the first thower in program history to win an outdoor conference championship when he won the shot. Phil Steinert also was victorious during the indoor campaign in the weight throw and he went on to place second in the hammer at the league’s outdoor meet. All told, the men established three new school records and four athletes competed at the NCAA Outdoor Championships Preliminary Rounds.
The women were just as successful, as Bragg successfully defended her conference hammer throw crown with a new Southland record, while Zaquita McClanahan captured gold in the shot put at the conference’s outdoor meet. Both went on to participate at the national meet in their respective specialty events.
The 2011 campaign saw Garrett Jr. earn second-team All-America honors in the shot put at both national meets (first All-America thrower in school history) and he also was named the Southland Indoor Outstanding Field Performer after winning the league’s shot put title and finishing sixth in the weight throw. Garrett Jr. went on to place second in both the shot and discus and sixth in the hammer during the outdoor campaign. He established new program records in the indoor and outdoor shot in addition to breaking the Roadrunners’ 25-year-old discus mark at the Texas Relays. All told, the UTSA men earned six all-conference certificates (two indoor/four outdoor) and they set new school standards in every event he coached.
On the women’s side, Bragg won the program’s first-ever hammer title at the Southland Outdoor after finishing third in the weight throw during the indoor campaign. She set a new school record in the hammer at the Texas Relays and McClanahan established a new indoor shot put standard.
His second season in charge of the throwers saw a total of five new school records and seven student-athletes (five women/two men) that combined to score points 14 times at the Southland Indoor and Outdoor Championships. Leading the way was Garrett Jr., who qualified for the NCAA Outdoor Championships Preliminary Rounds (discus), posted a pair of runner-up performances at the league meets (indoor shot put/discus) and broke both UTSA’s shot put marks. Meanwhile, Bragg earned a silver medal in the hammer at the Southland Outdoor and established new program records in the weight throw and hammer.
In his first campaign, he guided Amber Byars (discus) and Taelor Wilson (shot put) to points at the Southland Outdoor and Indoor, respectively, and the pair also made their mark on the program’s all-time performance charts, moving into the top four in the hammer, weight throw and discus.
In his four seasons in San Marcos, Adams coached Abigail Ruston to 2007 NCAA Outdoor All-America honors in the shot put (second place) and Sara Stultz earned 2006 Southland Conference Track & Field Student-Athlete of the Year accolades. All told, Bobcats athletes set five league records and won a total of 14 individual championships under his direction.
Adams was a two-time All-American in both the shot and hammer at Ashland (Ohio) University. The Findlay, Ohio, native earned his bachelor’s degree from Ashland in recreation administration after beginning his career at Kent State, where he was an all-conference performer from 1998-2000. He also earned a silver medal for Team USA at the 2002 North America, Central America and Caribbean (NACAC) Under-25 Track & Field Championships and was a 2004 Olympic Trials qualifier in the shot put.
Adams is married to the former Amber Thompson and the couple has a daughter, Camdyn, and a son, Casen.