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Adams steps down to be with family

By JAMAL THALJI

© St. Petersburg Times,
published June 14, 2001


WESLEY CHAPEL -- It seemed as though Tom Adams' work would never end.

As a rookie athletic director at a new high school two years ago, Adams had to learn on the job. He helped set up Wesley Chapel's fledgling athletic programs and had to oversee the construction of the school's facilities.

He could often be found rushing from one end of campus to the other in a golf cart laden with supplies and chores. Adams' work is finally done and now it's Annie McGhee's turn.

Adams recently stepped down to spend more time with his family. McGhee, who started along with Adams as a rookie volleyball, girls soccer and girls track coach, is his replacement.

Adams' family includes wife Terri, 5-year-old son Zakery and 6-week-old daughter Emilee Ann. Adams said he knew months beforehand this would be his last season as athletic director.

"I knew it was the right thing to do," he said.

"With the second child coming I definitely knew it was the right choice."

Wesley Chapel principal Andy Frelick said Adams, who will remain as a math teacher at the school, did an exceptional job.

"He had family obligations, so I can understand that and he gave us two great years to help us become a top-notch athletic program," he said.

Frelick refused to identify others who applied for the athletic director's job, but said McGhee was his natural choice. She will remain as girls soccer and track coach, but had to give up volleyball to assistant Julie Krull, a former Ridgewood standout.

"She's done a good job as a coach and earned it," Frelick said. "We're real happy about that."

McGhee, formerly Annie Wagner before her recent marriage, said she jumped at the chance.

"I just thought it would be a good opportunity," she said, "and I thought it would be something I was interested in doing. I thought you would be able to see a lot more kids excel and support those kids a lot more."

Adams said his biggest challenge was overseeing the completion of the school's athletic facilities. But there's still plenty for his successor to do.

"I've definitely got some big shoes to fill coming in after Tom," McGhee said.

"He did all the groundwork and he set up all the facilities. There's still a lot of maintenance work to be done, and part of having a good program is making sure everything is working right, and that everything is getting done."

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