When Jere Adcock became the head football coach at Decatur High in 1996, his goal was 100 wins.
When he reached that mark in 2008, Adcock’s new goal became 200 wins, but the leader of the Red Raiders for 27 seasons won’t make that mark.
Adcock, 67, confirmed Wednesday what he’s known since last summer. The 2022 season was his last as head football coach at Decatur. He’s going to retire.
“It’s just a good time to leave,” Adcock said. “It’s not easy, but going into the season we felt good about what this team could accomplish.
“Then we got into the season and everything went so well. This was such a great group of players and coaches. I enjoyed every minute of this season. It’s a good way to leave it.”
Decatur finished 9-3 and advanced to the second round of the Class 6A state playoffs. It was the program’s best record since the 10-2 season in 2016.
The three Decatur losses were to Hartselle, Muscle Shoals and Gardendale, which all advanced to the playoff quarterfinals.
Adcock finishes his 27-year head coaching career at Decatur with a 187-120 record.
“I’ve had some people point out that I’m only 13 away from 200 wins,” Adcock said. “I know that, but that’s where it’s going to stay.”
Adcock is only the fifth head football coach at Decatur High since 1933. H.L. “Shorty” Ogle went 209-72-13 in 31 seasons at Decatur from 1933-63. Wes Thompson (7-22-1) was head coach from 1964-66. Earl Webb (96-49-4) coached from 1967-80, and Steve Rivers (103-59) led the program from 1981-95.
"What a career and what an impact on so many young men," said Decatur City Schools Superintendent Michael Douglas. "I don't think Coach Adcock will fully understand his impact until the word spreads about his retirement. Decatur has been fortunate to have some great football coaches and Coach Adcock has done a great job of continuing the string of success."
When Rivers left Decatur to become head coach at Athens in the summer of 1996, the top two candidates to replace him were Adcock, who was his defensive coordinator, and Bob Godsey, who was the Decatur offensive coordinator.
Adcock and Godsey were best friends. They struck a deal that whichever one did not get the job would stay as an assistant. When Adcock got the job, Godsey stayed for two years before becoming head coach at Brooks. He moved to Hartselle in 2003 and put the friends on opposite sides of one of the oldest and fiercest rivalries in the state.
“Jere’s a good one who has done it right on the field and off the field,” Godsey said. “Decatur has been lucky to have him. High school football is going to miss not having him on the sidelines on Friday nights.”
The friendship stayed strong through the rivalry. In fact, the coaches talked of working together again when one of them became head coach at a private school after retiring. Godsey is now the head coach at Madison Academy.
“I’m not planning to do any more coaching,” Adcock said. “Right now the only thing I’m planning to do is buy a bird dog and maybe a new shotgun.
“I might try to do something away from coaching. Maybe I have some skills that could work in another business.”
In Adcock’s 27 years, Decatur has had seven region or area championships, five double-digit win seasons and 21 trips to the playoffs. Three teams advanced to the quarterfinals.
“We had some teams that I thought could have won state championships, but it just never worked out,” Adcock said.
Also in Adcock’s 27 years, he coached 26 All-State players. That includes Jerraud Powers, who later starred at Auburn and in the NFL, and Rolando McClain, who later starred at Alabama and in the NFL.
Two other former Adcock players who made it to the NFL are receiver Taye Biddle who played at Ole Miss and defensive back Tae Hayes, who played in college at Appalachian State and now plays for the Carolina Panthers.
Adcock began revealing his retirement plans within the football program earlier this week.
“This process of telling coaches and players about this has not been easy,” Adcock said. “There have been a lot of tears.
“I’ve been here a long time. The fieldhouse here is like a second home. Decatur High is a special place with special people.”