William Adams (1933 - 2017)

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Adams, William Carter

William Carter Adams died peacefully on the evening of April 8th, 2017 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Born in Baltimore, MD on April 5th, 1933, he was raised in Daytona Beach, Florida by his parents, Katherine Beall Adams and John Carter Adams.

He was a fine student and an even better athlete at Sea Breeze High School. A four sport letterman, he was the Florida State mile champion his senior year. He then attended the University of Florida, where he graduated with a degree in Physical Education, followed closely by a Masters in the same field. He was the captain of the cross-country and track and field teams. He was the South Eastern Conference (SEC) mile champion in 1954.

It was at U of F that he met Charlotte Vonetta Cofield. They married in December of 1956. They recently celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. She was the love of his life, his inspiration, and greatest ally.

After serving his country in the Army, Bill spent a few years teaching at Bandelier Elementary School in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he had been stationed. He also continued his education at the University of New Mexico, where he met Dr. Armond Seidler, who encouraged him to pursue a doctorate at the University of Illinois. During this time he continued to compete in national track races, including placing tenth in the 1960 U.S. Olympic Trials in the 10,000 meters.

The family, which now included son Geoffrey, moved to Champaign/Urbana, Illinois, where Adams received his PhD in Exercise Physiology. Son Keith arrived during that time.

It was then on to Davis, California where Bill took his first and last job in academia. Over the years, he attained full professorship and served as the department head for a decade. He enjoyed several sabbaticals, researching at the University of London, the Kennedy Space Center, and Yale University. He also had a distinguished career as the Men's Cross-Country and Long Distance Track and Field Coach from the mid-Sixties to the mid-Seventies. He was inducted into the Cal Aggie Athletic Hall of Fame in 2003. He took great satisfaction as the P.E. Department grew in size and stature, and treasured his relationships with his students, athletes, and colleagues.

Bill's professional passions were teaching, coaching, and research. He published several textbooks and numerous academic papers, but his greatest work-related pride came from getting the best out of his students and athletes. He helped expand and develop the Human Performance Research Laboratory at UCD started by Dr. Ed Bernauer, acquiring grants from multiple agencies to conduct pioneering research studying the effects of altitude, ozone, heat stress and other environmental factors on the performance of both trained athletes and the general population.

After retirement, Bill & Charlotte returned to Albuquerque. He spent his time walking at least 90 minutes a day, working on grant-related research & spending time with his family.

He leaves behind his loving wife, Charlotte, sons Geoffrey Carter Adams and Keith Cofield Adams, Daughter-in-law Peggy Favour, and grandchildren Alexandra Frentz Adams, Mariel Frentz Adams, and Devon McKendree Adams, his brothers John Carter "Jay" Adams, Guy Beall Adams, and their families.

At his request, there will be no formal ceremony. His immediate family will celebrate his life in his favorite place, Bodega Bay, California.

Published in Albuquerque Journal on Apr. 23, 2017