When Middle Tennessee was looking for only the third head coach in school history, the formula was simple. Find a person with a proven background teaching the game, a strong recruiting backdrop, and one who stresses academics as strongly as athletic success.
Chris Adams fit the bill and was named the program's third head coach in December 2007, after spending the previous five seasons at Arkansas State and Wichita State prior to that. Adams tackled a difficult situation when she was hired prior to the spring season after former coach Rachael Short resigned following the fall campaign.
Adams guided the Blue Raiders to their best finish ever at the Sun Belt Championships in her second year last season with a third place showing.
Her first Blue Raider squad showed improvement throughout the spring and turned in the program's third-highest finish with a fourth-place showing at the 2008 Sun Belt Championships. Overall, Middle Tennessee enjoyed three Top-10 finishes in five spring events. Improvement throughout the short time Adams had with the players was demonstrated by the balance throughout the lineup; four different players led the team in scoring in five spring tournaments. Five of the seven players who participated in spring events posted strong averages in the 70s.
On the course, Adams' laid-back manner translates into her coaching approach, which involves being there to provide guidance while allowing her athletes play, and not trying to push a technique or philosophy on them. The approach has a proven success rate as each program she has coached enjoyed higher overall finishes than prior to her arrival.
One reason for success is signing quality players who strive to excel on and off the course. Adams scours the recruiting trail seeing players who she believes are focused on success, both academically and athletically. Four of her Blue Raider players were named to the All-American Scholar Team by the National Golf Coaches Association. Five (of eight) players on the roster were named to the Sun Belt Commissioner's List for having a GPA of 3.5 or higher and one was named to the Sun Belt Honor Roll for sporting a GPA of 3.0-3.49.
Prior to heading the Middle Tennessee women's program, Adams had served as the head women's golf coach at Arkansas State since April 2002. There, she developed two All-Sun Belt selections and led the team to its first tournament win since 2001 in September 2007 at the ULM/Fred Marx Invitational. Her program was also successful in the classroom with four players being named to the Athletic Director's Honor Roll and the Sun Belt's Commissioner's List.
Prior to her five-plus years at Arkansas State, Adams served as head coach at Wichita State from 1997 to 2002 and led her teams to runner-up finishes in the Missouri Valley in 1998 and 1999. While there, she helped lower the team scoring average by 10 strokes over a two-year period and led her team to scoring records in 1999, 2000, and 2001.
During that span, she produced 10 all-conference selections and three first-team selections to the MVC All-Scholar team. She also had 16 Valley "Golfers of the Week" and 16 were named to the Wichita State Athletics Director's Honor Roll.
After beginning her golf career at John Jacobs Practical Golf Schools in Scottsdale, Ariz., Adams served as assistant golf professional at Bonaventure Country Club in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and the Fort Lauderdale Country Club in Plantation, Fla.
A 1991 graduate of Kansas State, Adams received her bachelor's degree in psychology. While there, she was a member of the varsity golf team and received the Lucille Boyd Scholarship for four years, which is awarded to the school's top woman golfer.
A native of Beaver, Okla., she also played basketball and earned all-state honors for two years in golf at Beaver High School.