Second-year Eagle River football coach hoping to build winning culture

Thursday, August 9, 2018 - 14:30
  • Eagle River head coach Bob Adkins is in his second year leading the Wolves. He’s the fifth head coach in the program’s 13 seasons. (Star photo by Matt Tunseth)
  • Eagle River head coach Bob Adkins is in his second year leading the Wolves. He’s the fifth head coach in the program’s 13 seasons. (Star photo by Matt Tunseth)

As the team’s fifth head coach since 2005, Bob Adkins knows much of his job is trying to grow tradition at a program that’s had precious little success over the years. It’s a challenge the UAF grad welcomes.

“You have to build a culture because when you build a culture the kids know what to expect,” he said.

Adkins said the culture he’s trying to build is one that’s built in part on the school’s close ties with nearby Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, where many of his players’ parents work as members of the Army or Air Force. Several of Adkins’ coaches have military backgrounds, and he thinks discipline and teamwork are among the team’s core values.

“I’d say it’s based on discipline and a family mentality,” he said. “If you don’t have either one of those you’re not going to build a program.”

Now in his second season, Adkins said he and his players are more comfortable after a “transition” year in 2017.

“Last year everything was so new,” said Adkins, who also coaches the Eagle River varsity basketball team.

With that increased familiarity, Adkins said, will naturally come higher expectations.

“Coaches and players all know the expectations and are familiar with what we’re doing and how we’re doing it,” he said. “So with that it makes things a little easier.”

Adkins thinks this year’s squad has the ability to make people change their minds about Eagle River football.

“As long as we can stay together, come out and execute, we should be competitive,” he said.

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