Ridgewood hires boys' basketball coach

Todd Rudolf, Galesburg Register-Mail
Gymnasium, Cambridge High School

    When Jeff Hannam resigned at the end of the season, the Ridgewood boys basketball team didn't have to look too far for a replacement. In fact, it just needed to look one seat over on the bench.

    Casey Adamson, the Spartans' junior varsity coach and assistant to Hannam - was officially named the new Ridgewood coach last week after the AlWood and Cambridge school districts approved the hiring.

    A 1995 graduate of AlWood, Adamson is looking to get his team back to where it was during his playing days, which included a regional championship.

    "I have had a dedication to this program," Adamson said. "I have been a member of this community, my wife has, both our parents have. Whether I got the job or not, I was going to be involved with this program."

    That dedication to and knowledge of the program and its current players were the reasons that helped Adamson stand out from the rest of the applicants.

    "We had some very qualified candidates apply," AlWood athletic director Seth Spivey said. "But I think his familiarity with the team and the players really put Casey over the top."

    Ridgewood struggled mightily last season, finishing at 2-26. Making Adamson's job even more difficult will be the departure of Tyler Nimrick, who had a big year for the Spartans despite the team's woes, averaging 16 points per game and 8.9 rebounds while scoring more than 1,000 points in his career.

    "When I heard I received the job I was obviously happy, but at the same time, I realized what I was about to take on," Adamson said. "We definitely need to improve. I think we should be strong defensively and in the post, but we lost Tyler so we are going to need to find another scorer. Maybe multiple scorers."

    Adamson said he plans to waste little time getting ready for next season, planning an active offseason.

    "The big thing is we need to improve our skill level," Adamson said. "That starts in the summer. If I can get everyone out there that should be out there and keep them there, it will go a long way. We can't keep coming in late and be behind all the other teams when the season starts."

    Adamson believes his no-nonsense, work-hard approach will help him bond with his players early.

    "All those kids know what I'm about," Adamson said. "I am a straightforward guy and will leave little doubts as to what I want. I think the kids respect that."