EUGENE — Dan Lanning has hired Junior Adams as the Ducks’ new co-offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach, the Oregon football head coach announced on Monday.
Adams is the second addition of the day for Lanning, who earlier named Joe Lorig special teams coordinator and nickels coach. Monday’s announcements move Lanning’s assistant coach number to seven, with Adams and Lorig joining offensive coordinator Kenny Dillingham, co-defensive coordinator Matt Powledge, cornerbacks coach Demetrice Martin, defensive line coach Tony Tuioti, and associate head coach and offensive line coach Adrian Klemm.
“Junior Adams is a great addition to this coaching staff,” Lanning said. “He has tremendous experience on the West Coast both as a player and a coach, as well as knowledge and familiarity working in the Pac-12 Conference. Coach Adams is a terrific teacher and mentor of young men, and I am excited for our student-athletes to get the opportunity to learn from him.
“He has a track record of developing NFL talent at the wide receiver position, and I am looking forward to seeing him develop some more playmakers here at Oregon. His experience as a play caller will be extremely beneficial to our staff as we work to install our offensive system here at Oregon. I am thrilled to welcome Junior and his family to Eugene.”
Adams comes to Oregon from Pac-12 rival Washington, where he worked the last three seasons as the Huskies’ wide receivers coach. He spent two seasons as Western Kentucky’s offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach before going to Seattle, and has also had stints at Montana State (2004-06), Prosser High School in Washington (2007), Chattanooga (2008), Eastern Washington (2009-13), and Boise State (2014-16).
“I want to thank Coach Lanning for giving me this opportunity to be a part of this terrific staff he is putting together at the University of Oregon,” Adams said. “I am really looking forward to getting to Eugene and meeting and working with the elite student-athletes we already have on campus, as well as finding and developing the next great generation of Oregon Ducks. I have seen firsthand just how impactful the Oregon brand can be on a national level, and I cannot wait to be a part of it. Go Ducks!”
In his first season at Washington in 2019, Adams oversaw an up-and-coming receiving corps that was led by 59 receptions for 702 yards from Aaron Fuller. An honorable mention all-American selection, Fuller finished his UW career No. 7 in program history in both receptions (159) and receiving yards (2,051).
Adams helped the Huskies to a 3-1 record in the shortened 2020 season, with sophomore Puka Nacua making nine catches for 151 yards and a touchdown in just three games. Junior Terrell Bynum also racked up 130 yards on eight receptions in limited action.
As Western Kentucky’s offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach, Adams helped Nacarius Fant post the fifth-best season in program history in terms of receptions with 75. Deon Yelder also broke WKU tight end records with 52 catches for 688 yards, and quarterback Mike White led the FBS as a senior with 368 completions while ranking fourth nationally with 4,177 passing yards.
Adams spent three seasons at Boise State before going to Western Kentucky, spending 2014 and 2015 as wide receivers coach before adding the title of passing game coordinator in 2016. The Broncos passing game thrived under Adams, ranking 15th nationally in 2016 with 298.3 passing yards per game.
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Adams coached a pair of highly successful receivers at Boise State in Cedrick Wilson and Thomas Sperbeck. Wilson ranked eighth nationally in 2016 with 20.2 yards per catch, and Sperbeck joined him as a 1,000-yard receiver en route to finishing his career as Boise State’s all-time leader in receiving yards.
As Eastern Washington’s wide receivers coach, Adams recruited and mentored one of the top receivers in FCS history in current Los Angeles Ram Cooper Kupp. A four-time FCS all-American, two-time Big Sky Offensive Player of the Year, and Walter Payton Award winner in his career, Kupp caught 93 passes for 1,691 yards and a career-best 21 touchdowns under Adams’ tutelage in 2013, winning the Jerry Rice Award as the top FCS freshman in the nation.
“I have had a lot of coaches throughout my career as a football player,” Kupp said recently. “None have had a greater impact on me than Coach Adams. His ability to coach the wide receiver position is unmatched due to his knowledge of the game as a whole, as well as ability to maximize the potential of every one of his players physically and mentally. The best there is.”
Adams started his coaching career as the wide receivers and kick returners coach at Montana State, his alma mater, from 2004-06, before serving in the same role in 2007 at Prosser High School and helping the Mustangs to a 14-0 record and the state’s 2A championship. He was an assistant coach at Chattanooga in 2008 before making the move to Eastern Washington.
A standout receiver during his playing days at Montana State, Adams still ranks in the top 10 in program history with 1,635 career receiving yards despite playing just two seasons. His 66 receptions for 983 yards and eight touchdowns in 2002 still rank in the top 10 in school history, and he holds MSU records for receiving yards and touchdowns per game, as well as career punt return average (17.3). Adams was an honorable mention all-American and first-team all-Big Sky selection as a senior.
Prior to going to Montana State, Adams played his first two collegiate seasons at Oregon State in 1999 and 2000. In his second year, he helped the Beavers go 11-1 and win the Fiesta Bowl over Notre Dame.
Adams earned his degree in sociology from Montana State in 2004.