Warrior victory extra special for longtime loyal assistant coach
By BRIAN CUNNIFF
WILDWOOD — Brian Adair was a really good football player in his day.
He was a standout at West Catholic High School in Philadelphia, where he eventually was inducted into the school’s athletic Hall of Fame. He later played for three seasons at Rowan University, helping the Profs to New Jersey Athletic Conference championships in 1992 and 1993 and an appearance in the NCAA Division III title game in 1993.
Adair is now in his ninth season as an assistant coach for the Wildwood High School football team after previously coaching at the college level for both the lightweight team at the University of Pennsylvania and at Rowan.
On Sunday, Adair experienced the thrill of victory for the first time since November 2014. After 47 straight losses, Wildwood finally broke through with a 30-6 victory over Lindenwold.
As the seconds ticked away, Adair raised both of his fists in the air as part of an emotional celebration by the team’s players, coaches and fans.
“It feels great, man. It really feels great,” Adair said after the game. “The kids earned it. (Head coach Ken) Loomis is a great guy. He really does a good job getting the kids prepared every week. The kids just came out and played their hearts out. They really battled. I’m so proud of the kids and all of our staff.”
Adair is in his fifth season as an assistant under Loomis. He worked under Bruce Lazaruk when Wildwood last won a football game six years ago, a 22-6 victory over Pleasantville in the last game of the season.
For a lot of football lifers, Wildwood might not be the easiest place to coach. Having meaningful summer practices is difficult. Numbers are always an issue. Experience is short. There are always a few talented players, but often not enough.
Still, there’s a reason why a guy like Adair, who always does his best to avoid any kind of spotlight, is still plugging away in an effort to help the Warriors.
“You do it for the kids,” he said quickly. “As long as they keep working hard, it’s fun to come out here. You come to practice every day and work hard and try to do the right things. Loomis is great at running a program so to coach under him, it’s easy to do this. He works great with the kids and the rest of the staff.
“You’re always just looking to get better every week. You want to just take it day by day and play by play. All we want is for the kids to come out every day and try to be a better football player than they were yesterday. I think it says a lot about our kids that they can motivate themselves to keep coming out every day, every play.”