Dwight “Hoss” Adams, 83, of Dumas, passed away on June 26, 2016 at St. Vincent Infirmary in Little Rock.
A former college football coach and professional scout, Adams ended his career as the vice president of player personnel for the Buffalo Bills. He retired from the NFL after in 2014 after 28 years. He is in the Pro Scout Hall of Fame, a Distinguished Alumni of Henderson State University, a member of the Walk of Fame at Henderson State University and in 2015, he was inducted into the Arkansas Hall of Fame.
Adams is survived by his wife of 58 years, Jo, whom he loved dearly and credited his success in life to marrying the right lady. There is not a more fun life than to be a football coach’s child. He taught his children — Jana (Guy) Teeter of Tillar, Scott (Jayne Allaire) of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida and Babe Ruth (Bill) Free of Stuttgart — to love life, always look people in the eye and take pride in every job they do.
He is also survived by grandchildren, Lacey Wickline of Houston, Texas, Rankin Teeter of Tillar, Shelby Free of Fayettville, and Sydney Free of Stuttgart. He loved them tremendously, taught them important life lessons and told them many stories that will be a legacy to their children. He was proud that his children and grandchildren (with the exception of one who just finished her freshman year at the University of Arkansas) all had college degrees.
Other survivors include his sister in law Jan (Vaughn) McQuary; nieces, Kathy (Scott) Rook, Courtney (David) Traylor and nephew Drew (Laura Beth) Baxter all of Little Rock.
Adams was born in Dover, Arkansas on August 2, 1931 or 1932 — he never was sure. He was orphaned at the age of five and raised in the Arkansas Children’s Home, now the Arkansas Children’s Hospital. Luckily, Ruth Beall, the director of the home, paid special attention to him, offering him guidance and teaching him many lessons in life. Throughout his high school career he was lucky to have someone else that kept any eye on him: his coach, Wilson Matthews.
He graduated in 1950 and joined the United States Marine Corps. He served his country proudly in the Korean War; he served as an aide to Admiral C. Turner Joy at the United Nations Peace Conference.
Returning home, he enrolled at Henderson State Teachers College where he played football and was selected as an All Conference/All State player. This is where he met the love of his life, the homecoming queen, “Baby Jo” Bickham of Tillar. They were married in 1958. After graduating from Henderson, his high school football coaching career took him to Bearden, Smackover, El Dorado, Pine Bluff and Lake Charles, Louisiana.
In 1966, Red Parker offered Adams a job to coach football and track at The Citadel. He was thrilled to be transitioning to the college football ranks. In 1973, Coach Parker was hired at Clemson University where Adams coached outside linebackers. He stayed at Clemson until 1978 with Charley Pell. When Coach Pell was hired at the University of Florida in 1979, Adams accepted the most defining job of his coaching career: he was named the first Special Teams Coordinator in college football.
Known for his grit and growl, Adams was a favorite among coaches and players. In 1985, he went to work for the San Diego Chargers as a College Football Scout and finished his career with the Buffalo Bills serving as Vice President of Player Personnel. He retired from the NFL after in 2014 after 28 years.
“Hoss” had many accomplishments in his coaching and scouting career. He coached Bears, Buckaroos, Wildcats, Mustangs, Zebras, Bulldogs, Tigers and Gators, but what he treasured most were the relationships he developed with all people, especially his players, associated with the game of life.
An active member of the Dumas First United Methodist Church, Adams credited God with his many bessings.
When he moved back to Tillar, he became a member of the Walnut Lake golf team sharing stories and laughs but never losing more than a dollar. He took great pride in his appearance often receiving jabs for his impeccable style.
From humble beginnings to the Super Bowl, Adams never forgot where he came from insisting that his children give everyone respect regardless of their station in life and always thank God for what you have been given. Coach Adams was often considered “larger than life.” It was never an act he put on for anyone. He loved life and he loved people. There will never be another one like him.
Visitation will be held on June 28 from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. at the Dumas First United Methodist Church.
A Celebration of Life service will be held on June 29 at 2 p.m. at Dumas First United Methodist Church. A reception to follow at 302 South College at the Adams home.
Memorials can be made to:
Arkansas Children’s Hospital
PO Box 2222
Little Rock, Arkansas 72203
Dumas First United Methodist Church
230 Court Street
Dumas, Arkansas 71639