Although Adam Fuller ’98 earned his degree in Criminal Justice, he has been employed as a coach since he graduated from Sacred Heart University. His first job after graduation was an entry level job at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, MA. Today he is entering his third season as the defensive coordinator at the University of Tennessee – Chattanooga.
“I have been extremely fortunate to have been hired by some great coaches and people. I worked at Wagner College under Walt Hameline who is a great leader and taught me a lot about recruiting as well as how to be focused and get results,” Fuller said. He was promoted to a coordinator position at Wagner and remained there for six years before moving on to the University of Richmond where he worked for Dave Clawson (now head coach at Bowling Green University).
“Dave Clawson is a great football coach. He is extremely intelligent and well organized. He taught me how to run a scholarship football program, while maintaining a high academic atmosphere. We had a lot of success, winning league championships in 2005 and 2007 and making it to the final four in the I-AA national playoffs in 2007,” he said. He was promoted to special teams coordinator and linebacker coach while at Richmond. While there, he also coached several players who went on to the NFL, including Justin Rogers (Buffalo Bills), Tim Hightower (Washington Redskins), Lawrence Sidbury (Atlanta Falcons) and Martin Parker (New York Giants).
Fuller’s first head coaching job was at Assumption College under Athletic Director Ted Paulaskus. “Although I only spent one year at Assumption, it was an invaluable experience,” he said. “The school reminded me a lot of Sacred Heart. If I had not received the opportunity to come to Chattanooga, I know I would have had a wonderful experience both on and off the field at Assumption.”
He chose Chattanooga because of the respect garnered by the Southern Conference and the opportunity to work for Coach Russ Huesman with whom he had worked in Richmond. “Russ has a great football mind and loves the game. I have learned a great deal about football from him and continue to learn more every day. In our three years at UTC, we have gotten to a competitive level and look forward to the challenge of getting to the championships,” he said. “Our defense is coming off of a great year where they finished first in the conference in several categories.”
Fuller said he chose Sacred Heart because the football program was making the transition to Division 1-AA, and newer playing facilities were on the way. In addition, the school was just 150 miles from his home and was known for providing a quality education. “Unfortunately, the record of SHU’s football team during my four years was not a highlight. Despite that, I enjoyed the relationships that I built during my years with the program. I was extremely honored to be named captain of the football team in 1997, and when the Pitt Center opened during my senior year, there was a lot of excitement and pride that went along with that,” he said.
He is proud to be an alumnus of SHU and is excited about the growth the University has experienced. “Whenever I get the opportunity to come back North to visit family, I always drive through campus. The growth on Park Avenue and the surrounding campus is great for the University. I found myself watching Coach Swanson and the women’s basketball team as they marched through the NEC tournament and on to play Georgia Tech in the opening round of the NCAA tournament, and I check the website each week to catch up on the current news.”
Fuller married his wife, Hope, in 2003, and the couple has two children, Jack, 5, and Aidan, 2. “I have the greatest family a man could ask for,” he said. “My wife has been extremely supportive of my coaching career as we have moved from New York, Virginia, Massachusetts and Tennessee over a period of eight years.”
Fuller credits his experiences with Sacred Heart for setting him on his career path and recently started to support his alma mater financially. “Giving back is a great way to continue to feel vested in the University community,” he said.
Chattanooga has already made great strides on the defensive side of the ball during Fuller’s first two seasons, and the team had back-to-back winning seasons for the first time in almost two decades. Undoubtedly, we have not heard the last from Coach Adam Fuller!
“I love my profession, and I understand how lucky I am to work in a profession where I am energized for the challenges that show up each and every day,” he concluded.