Varsity basketball Head Coach Jamal Adams ’90 has come full circle as a Cub, moving from a student to a graduate to a coach and teacher.
Adams said, “I’ve been here for a while. My brother went here. My son is a graduate of the class of 2015. So, I like to tell people I’ve had the grace of experiencing Loyola from every perspective: as a student, as a dad, as an alum, as a teacher, coach and now in an administrative role.”
Adams is in his 13th year as a full time teacher, his 18th year as a coach and second year as Director of Equity and Inclusion. In addition to being the head varsity basketball coach, Adams teaches two classes: Economics and African-American studies.
Adams said, “I try to remember in my coaching profession and practice that I coach young men and human beings who are complex. As much as I want them to be great at passing, dribbling, shooting and defending, I need to attend to their emotional needs and allow them to try to grow into great men.”
In addition to teaching his players how to further their basketball abilities, Adams creates personal relationships with each of his players.
Adams said, “I’m the most proud of the relationships I have with my players. This year, I’m attending three weddings of former players of mine. I have players that are playing professional basketball. I have guys that are titans in finance and in the legal world. I have guys that have become great dads.”
After attending Loyola, Adams took his intelligence and basketball talent to Columbia University in New York City.
Adams said, “After Columbia, I worked on Wall Street for 12 years before coming back here to teach and coach. I lived in New York for a number of years after school, but LA is home and Loyola is home squared.”
Ultimately, the holistic approach to education is what brought Adams back to Loyola.
Adams said, “The Jesuit education idea of educating the whole person, be it academically, spiritually or co-curricularly is what still makes it the best educational institution in the world. The idea of Jesuit education and all of its glory is what excites me the most.”