Adams ASHOF Induction Set

Thursday, March 28, 2019
Gary Adams
courtesy photo

A long-overdue honor will be bestowed Friday evening, as former Piggott Mohawk and Arkansas Razorback football standout Gary Adams is inducted into the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony will be held at 6:30 p.m. in the Statehouse Convention Center in Little Rock.

Adams is being recognized for his play on the football field, and the other members of the class of 2019 include football player Madre Hill; basketball player Sherry Raney-White; coach and football player Houston Nutt, Jr.; basketball player Jim King; coach and football player David Alpe; bull rider Denny Flynn; tennis player Richard Akel and football administrator Jerry Jones, Jr.

A native of the Carryville community east of Piggott, Adams played quarterback for the undefeated Piggott Mohawk teams his junior and senior year. Starting as a sophomore, midway through the 1962 season, the Mohawks never lost a game after he was named the starting quarterback. Doubling as defensive back, Adams once intercepted five passes in the 1963 game against Marked Tree.

Following high school, he was an All-State selection and was selected to play quarterback for the East Team in the 1965 High School All Star Game, where he made the game-winning touchdown pass to future Razorback standout, Gordon McNulty.

In 1965, Adams worked-out at quarterback and returned punts during his freshman season at the University of Arkansas. In 1966 he moved to defense, and lettered as a Razorback from 1966 through 1968. He was also named as a first team All-Southwest Conference standout his sophomore, junior and senior seasons.

As a sophomore, Adams led the Southwest Conference in interceptions with a total of seven in just that single season. His record is still tied for second overall for interceptions in a single season in the history of Razorback football. Two of those interceptions were in the fourth quarter against Texas, helping to seal a 12-7 Razorback victory over the Longhorns. He was named the Outstanding Sophomore Defensive Player of the Year in the Southwest Conference and also was named Honorable Mention All-American.

During his senior season in 1968, Adams was named defensive team captain of the Razorbacks, ending his time as a Hog with 13 career interceptions. At the time it stood as a school record, and today it remains the second highest career total in the University of Arkansas history, only surpassed by Steve Atwater’s 14 picks several years later.

During his career as a Razorback, the teams Adams played on compiled a 22-8-1 record; tied for the 1968 Southwest Conference title; and, defeated No. 4 Georgia in the 1969 Sugar Bowl. In 1969, Adams was selected to play in the All-American Bowl in Tampa, Fla.; and making the most of the exposure he was later drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in the 12th round of the 1969 NFL draft.

In the years since his playing career ended, he was named to the 1960’s All-Decade Team by the Arkansas Razorbacks, and was inducted into the University of Arkansas Sports Hall of Honor in 2011.

Adams served as the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame president in 2004, though he was never nominated until last year. His selection was guaranteed thanks to strong support from his home town, as dozens from the Piggott area cast ballots for his inclusion. Local support will also be strong at Thursday's event, as dozens of former players and coaches, along with many of the current Mohawks, will be attending the ceremony.

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