Colton High School principal Tori Hazelton says she expects to conduct interviews for new hire this week

PIONEER FILE PHOTO - Former Colton High School athletic director and head boys' basketball coach Greg Adams (left middle) has resigned from both positions recently. In this photo, Adams stands with Colton Class of 2017 seniors Cameron Davis, Logan Wallaert, and Sam Ryan as they received their All-League awards.

Colton will have at least one more spot to fill at the high school as Greg Adams has announced his resignation as athletic director and head boys' basketball coach.

Adams, who has a long history of involvement with Colton athletics and academics, originally came back to coach the boys' basketball team after the departure of former coach Brandon Kishpaugh. Adams told the administration that he would give three years to the program when he was hired.

And as time progressed, Adams began to take on a bigger role in the athletic department, eventually becoming the CHS athletic director and coordinating sports activities through the 2016-2017 academic year. Grant Hayball was the former AD at CHS, but now serves as the principal for Colton Middle School and as athletics coordinator for the school district.

By the end of the year, Adams was tired. After all, he was technically retired.

"I met with the principal (Tori Hazelton) and said 'After one year you might not want me or I may decide I don't want to be back,'" Adams said of his being hired as head boys' basketball coach.

"At the end of the year, in June after summer league, I realized 'Man, I'm working almost full-time again with all my substitute teaching, the AD job, the basketball job, and it hit me that I'm retired."

Adams said he knew he was done with the AD job after the academic year was over; he came in looking to help out the administration when it needed it, and now he hopes to be able to help out in the transition process of hiring a new AD however he is needed.

As for the decision to resign as head boys' basketball coach, Adams said the choice was a more personal one.

"It was more of a personal choice with time commitment, and it just felt like I needed to let somebody else come in that has the energy to do it," Adams said.

"I thought I would be able to last longer with the basketball team, but I think I forgot how hard it was, because if you're going to run the program right, you've got to be able to commit to it year-round … I think somebody's that's maybe a little younger with a little more energy might be able to make that work a little bit better with the young men of today," he said.

Adams recognizes that in order to build and sustain successful programs, it starts at the top: there has to be an element of leadership that is invested in the long-term success of the program, and he realized that that wasn't him at this point in his life. He's retired, and he wants to be able to spend more time at home and with his family.

"My mentor that I worked with originally in Colton years ago in the late 1980s, Bart Valentine, he's at Columbia Christian now, and he went from college coaching, sat out for a year or two, and went back to coaching high school," Adams said. "[Our teams] played each other this summer, and it hit me that he's got grandkids that are in eighth grade or coming into high school, so there's that attachment where he's got some personal ties to the program with family, which was, I think, enough to make him want to come back."

Adams said he could see himself considering something similar to Valentine; perhaps if his grandkids are playing, he might come back and coach again.

Adams said he plans to help out the transition to a new athletic director as fall sports are set to get underway in less than a month.

"I told Tori [Hazelton], I said 'When I step down as the AD, I do not want somebody coming in and just being told, 'OK, you're the AD, good luck,'" Adams said. "I want to be able to go in the office, I want to show them what I have on the computer, I'm going to show them the paperwork, I'm going to show them what the OSAA requires, I will go with them to league meetings if they want me to. I just want to make this an easy transition."

But Adams also said that if the administration makes a hire and decides they don't want his help, he's fine with that as well.

Adams was in a similar position when Kishpaugh took over the basketball program a few years ago; Adams served as AD then as well, and made a conscious choice to not intervene with the program that Kishpaugh was now the leader of.

"I wanted him to be on his own because I didn't want the kids looking to me," he said.

And he wants it to be like that again when Colton chooses its new boys' basketball coach, but he also wants to be able to help however he can.

"Whoever they hire, if they want some insight, I would be more than glad to give it, if they want me to scout for them, I'll do what I can to help the program in any way that I can," Adams said.

But while Adams does want to help the administration and the basketball program transition in any way he can, he also wants it known that he's going to do so on his terms.

"When I say I'm going to help, it's going to be on the times that I'm available to help; I've got a trip in September where I'll be gone, I'll be gone visiting a grandchild in November … I'll help, but it'll be when I'm able to help," Adams said.

In an email conversation on Aug. 2, Hazelton said they are hoping to conduct interviews for the AD position this week.

Conner Williams
Sports Reporter/News Contributor
503-829-2301 ext. 341
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