COPPERAS COVE — Eldridge McAdams does not know precisely when he will start, but he knows exactly what he will focus on upon arriving.
“I really don’t have a style,” said McAdams, who was hired as Copperas Cove’s new head girls basketball coach during Tuesday’s evening’s CCISD school board meeting.
“But I know we are going to play defense, we’re going play some more defense and then we’ll play some more defense.”
The exact start date for McAdams’ tenure remains in the air as Copperas Cove and A&M Consolidated, where the father of three is currently concluding his lone season with the Lady Tigers, work out the final details of his contract. Nevertheless, McAdams is extremely happy to be returning to the head coaching ranks after a year as an assistant.
McAdams, who has been in coaching for 14 years, had a successful six-year run from 2006 to 2012 as the head coach of Class 2A New Waverly, where he finished first or second in district every season, reaching the regional quarterfinals and regional finals in consecutive seasons.
“My desire (to be a head coach) was so strong,” McAdams said. “It is just great to get back in it and be a head coach. It’s a great feeling.”
Perhaps the only person happier about the hire than McAdams is Copperas Cove athletic director Jack Welch.
“I am very, very pleased with (the hire),” Welch said. “He’s been a very successful coach. He’s student-oriented, and outside of basketball, he is going to be involved in the community. And he’s an ordained minister, and I think it is great to have that kind of example for the kids. I think we’ve really been lucky.”
After spending several years as an assistant coach in Huntsville, McAdams took over New Waverly’s program and produced immediate results, but struggled in the playoffs, losing in the bi-district and area rounds during each of the first two seasons.
In 2008-09, however, McAdams began a two-year run in which New Waverly reached the regional tournament with a combined record of 49-13.
McAdams left for A&M Consolidated because he wanted to be the head coach for a Class 5A program, and when the position at Copperas Cove became available, he knew he had to pounce on it.
“I think anybody would jump at an opportunity like this,” McAdams said. “Just the feeling of being here and being in this environment and seeing the girls, I’m chomping at the bit to go to work.”
McAdams takes over for Teresa Durham, who unexpectedly stepped down after guiding the Lady Bulldawgs to a 24-10 record last season before losing in the opening round of the playoffs. It was the team’s first postseason appearance since 2010.
While the Lady Bulldawgs lost several key pieces to graduation, including District 8-5A offensive player of the year Shawnte’ Goff, McAdams believes Cove has lots of potential, especially on defense.
“They are very athletic,” McAdams said of the team after getting to watch a practice. “They know the game of basketball. … We (have the tools to) be real defensive-minded. We’re going to get after it and be scrappy on defense.”