Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Laney’s Tynes and Adams forge unique coaching partnership

Relationships can be an interesting topic as some last and some do not. But 18 years ago a relationship started that remains intact today and it comes in the world of high school coaching.

Sheri Tynes began coaching the Laney High School girls basketball team in the 1993-94 school year. As is the case with assistant coaches, especially at that level, they come and go as many have aspirations of someday running their own program.

Sherri Tynes and longtime assistant Russ Adams have been coaching together at Laney for nearly two decades.

Tynes faced that dilemma the first two years as two assistants came and went. She once again found herself looking for an assistant coach as the 1995 school year came into focus, and she found one expecting, as usual, that it would be a short-term solution to a long-term problem.

Russ Adams, the brother of Laney teacher and coach Chip Adams, spent a number of years in the banking business, but he decided a change was in order and seeing how happy and satisfied his brother was, he decided to take a chance on teaching.

“I had just left the banking world and was getting my teaching certificate and I volunteered to be an assistant coach with Fred Lynch on the Laney boys basketball team,” Adams said. “One day Sheri walked into the gym and said, ‘How would you like to be an assistant on the girls team?’ And I said, ‘Sure.’”

Tynes had a conversation with Chip Adams and knew Russ Adams was coming to Laney as a teacher and a coach, and she needed an assistant. The boys team had several.

“Chip taught with us and I heard Russ was back in town,” Tynes said. “I was in need of an assistant coach for the second year in a row and he seemed like a nice guy so I asked him, and he said ‘yes.’”

Russ Adams was happy to be involved in coaching but he was a little nervous.

“I was a little apprehensive at first since I had never coached girls, but I felt I had a female as the head coach so that alleviated some of the fears,” Adams said.

Thus began a relationship that has endured 18 seasons, an almost unheard of time span in high school coaching.

“I guess it is unusual in many ways but it just seems to work for us,” Tynes said. “First of all Russ is a great person and a great friend, and he’s become almost like a big brother to me. We had the same goals and it doesn’t matter to either of us who gets credit. We have a job to do.

“We both want to succeed and we want to make sure the experience of playing basketball for Laney is a good one for the girls involved. In coaching, or in anything you do, you want to have good people around you that makes you look better and I have that in Russ. He’s great person–very smart, and he’s good with the girls. I’d be a fool not to continue to take advantage of having someone like that to work with.”

Tynes said there are many reasons why the relationship has lasted so long.

“We really appreciate each other and it’s not a tug of war,” Tynes said. “Coaching consumes a lot of time and it’s a lot of hard work, and one person cannot do it alone. We’ve gotten to know each other so well that Russ recognizes if I’m having a bad day and I recognize if he is having a bad day, and we adjust.

The Lady Bucs celebrate after a big win over Ashley during the 2012-2013 season.

“The other thing is, no matter what goes on at practice, he gets to go home at night and I get to go home at night. At this point I honestly don’t know what I would do without him.”

One of the other things, according to Adams, is Tynes is at ease because she knows she doesn’t have to look over her shoulder and worry about someone who is working with her who wants to take her job.

“I have no desire to be the head coach here,” Adams said. “I love teaching at Laney, and I have no desire to go anywhere else. Sheri is the head coach and I work for her.

“I have the perfect situation. I teach and I coach and I get to work with someone I like and respect. How do you top that? I’ll say this, if you can’t work with Coach Tynes you can’t work with anyone. I know it’s somewhat of a unique situation but our personalities mesh. We’re not large ego people who need to take credit for success, or who point fingers of blame. We totally enjoy watching the girls grow and be successful, and if she is successful, I’m successful, and vice-versa.”

Like any relationship there are trying times, but Tynes says they just find a way to work it out.

“If we have conflicts it’s, ‘You tell me why and I’ll tell you why, and we’ll see what works,’” Tynes said. “No one gets it right all the time, and that kind of puts things in their proper perspective.

“Laney is a great school and we both work with great people, and that outweighs the tough spots. If you have that type of camaraderie to work with it makes a huge difference.”

Adams summed it up this way, “We have the same philosophies about coaching, defense, team first, and hustle, and we look out for each other. At this point I don’t know if I could work for anyone else in this capacity. Sheri is the best, and I’m lucky enough to work with the best.”

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