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Cheyenne Mountain coach Dave Adams talks to two players at the 2019 state championship.

As the longest-tenured tennis coach in the Pikes Peak region, Cheyenne Mountain’s Dave Adams has seen it all. But in 2020, he watched his team come within a "whisker" of winning the Class 4A state championship after losing a number of top players from his 2019 state championship team. But true to his coaching mantra, ‘Let’s get better every day,’ Cheyenne Mountain continued to reach beyond Adam’s expectations and ultimately brought home a second-place team trophy.

Dave Adams is The Gazette Preps 2020 Boys’ Tennis Coach of the Year.

Q: How many years have you been coaching, any level?

DA: “I’ve been coaching since 1978, started coaching basketball, and the next year started coaching tennis.”

Q: What inspired you to become a coach?

DA: “My high school experience really inspired me. I enjoyed high school in general, the school part and the athletic part, so I figured out fairly early that I wanted to teach and be a high school coach.”

Q: What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned in your 42 years as a coach?

DA: “I don’t know if I can articulate it into one lesson. I know for me it always comes back to just work hard. One thing that has become sort of a mantra is saying to the kids, we need to get better in some aspect of our game every single day.”

At this point of the conversation, Dave’s son John begins waving to hand over the phone.

John Adams: “I can’t answer for him, but I can say the biggest lesson he has passed on to the people he has coached has always been to show up on time, work hard and treat people with respect. So long as everyone is good to each other, puts in the work and is willing to learn, the rest will take care of itself.”

Q: What was the most memorable moment from the 2020 season?

DA: “Our team really overachieved this fall. I really felt proud of where this group ended up. We came within a whisker of winning the doggone thing. One more match and we would’ve. I just feel like they worked really hard and we got better throughout the season and gave ourselves a chance. Starting out, I didn’t feel like that we had it, mostly because of who we lost from last year, but people fit into those roles and it was very gratifying to have the boys realize the growth that they made, and that’s really what it's all about. Our growth was the most memorable part.

Q: What is a piece of advice for underclassmen coming through your program?

DA: “You’ve gotta play. So many kids get wrapped in just lessons and hitting and they don’t compete enough. That’s what I love about multisport athletes. Those kids know how to compete more than just tennis guys and gals. Getting out there and competing and learning how to compete can be as important as the fundamentals and learning how to hit.”

Q: What is your coaching cliché?

DA: “Let’s get better every day. When you show up at practice there is always something you should be focused on. Sometimes it’s hard, kids are decompressing from school, they have a lot going on, but we try to focus on getting better every single day.”