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hof heck plaqueADAM HECK (1974-2016) Inducted 2017
Coach - Administrator
Nominated by and plaque presented by Coach Stuart Dean to Beth Alexis, and Madisyn Heck

Adam was born in Norwich, NY and attended Hamilton Central School, grades K-12, graduating in 1992.

An ardent Emerald Knight, he played junior high football, J.V. and Varsity baseball, basketball and soccer with determination, dedication and grit.

He attended Ithaca College where he played Club Soccer and graduated in 1996 with a degree in Physical Education.

He joined the faculty at Lansing Central School to teach Physical Education and coach, later adding Athletic Director and Dean of Students to his resume.

In his 20 year coaching career at Lansing, Adam coached J.V. and varsity Girls softball, Girl's J.V. basketball, Boys J.V. and Varsity Basketball, and Boys Varsity Soccer.

He was also an assistant basketball coach under Stuart Dean for the Scholastic Central Girls Basketball team in the Empire State Games, winning a Silver Medal in 2000 and the Gold in 2001.

He coached the Scholastic Boys Soccer team in the Empire State games, winning Gold in 2006. He also ran numerous soccer and basketball camps for the Lansing Recreation Program. Heck coached Varsity Basketball for 14 seasons accumulating a 181-105 record winning 6 I.A.C. Division titles and 1 Over-All I.A.C. Championship. His teams were a two-time Class C Section IV finalist in 2004 and in 2008.

Adam coached Lansing varsity soccer for 20 years with a 303-77-19 record. His teams won 11 I. A. C. Division titles, 8 over-all I. A. C. Championships, and 8 Class C Section IV titles.

Five times his teams played in the NYS Public High School Athletic Association Final Four and were in the finals on three occasions.

Adam was recognized by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America as the New York State Small School Soccer Coach of the Year in 2007 and again in 2012.

Adam was a two-time recipient of the I.A.C. Chris Bond Award, winning the award in 2009 and again in 2012. The award is emblematic of the I.A.C. Soccer Coach of the Year.

The National Federation of High School Associations chose Adam as the NYS Soccer Coach of the Year in 2013. He was their Runner-Up selection for National Soccer Coach of the Year in 2012.

Adam also served as Section IV Assistant Boys Soccer coordinator for 15 years.

He was the National Soccer Coaches Association of America, Small School Awards Chairman for Section IV in NYS.

There is a consistent theme here… Adam was a winner!

Coach Stuart Dean presents Adam Heck's plaque to wife Beth Heck, and daughter Alexis.Coach Stuart Dean presents Adam Heck's plaque to wife Beth Heck, and daughter Alexis.

In writing this biography of Adam, I spoke with a number of people that were touched by his friendship. I'll share some of those stories with you.

Matt Loveless was Adam's assistant coach. Matt commented on how well prepared Adam was for every game, regardless of the win/loss record for Lansing or their opponent. He said Adam spent countless hours and miles in scouting and film study, during each season.

Matt said, "Adam always put the athletes first and focused on putting them in situations where they would succeed. He didn't demand respect from his players, he led by example throughout each relationship he built individually and as a team".

Loveless said, "Adam would give everything he had on game day. Sometimes dry eraser boards and chairs would get in the way. It was very common for him to be emotionally and physically spent by the end of a contest".

Odessa Montour Girls basketball coach and athletic director Greg Gavich said "Adam was probably the person he was closest to during meetings within the I. A. C.".

They were both J. V. Girls' basketball coaches in 2001, and both Odessa and Lansing were in the NY State championship games. Odessa in Class "D" and Lansing in Class "C".

Odessa captured the Class D State title on Saturday night of Championship weekend. Lansing was scheduled to play Sunday afternoon.

Gavich said "There was a knock on our hotel room door that night and Adam entered and congratulated the coaches and my girls. It was a first class move".

Gavich said "Adam and I joked about this a lot. Adam always said, you guys were having a blast that night. We wanted to do the same thing the next day".

Lansing did win the next day and it was Lansing's first ever NY State championship.

Greg said, "Adam's death left a void in my heart. He commanded so much respect. Other AD's listened when Adam had something to say. I would say that Adam was always good at balancing what was the best thing to do for the kids in terms of creating a quality, competitive program or league".

Gavich continued, "Adam came to an AD's meeting with a sign-up sheet for Girl Scout cookies. He just passed it around and said sign up boys, my girls need your help. He was so proud of his selling skills. I still buy Girl Scout cookies every year in his memory".

Chip Stewart, a very successful basketball and soccer coach at Marathon said "I'm in Lansing playing Adam in soccer.

My best player is having a good day. Then I see one of Adam players hit him in the testicles.

I shout over to Adam and said hey what's number X doing to my guy? Adam says I didn't see it. I told him to open his eyes. We were always sparring.

"Well his guys does it again to my player and they are away from the referee, so of course no call, but Adam saw it. I take my kid out before he gets hurt worse.

Two minutes later I put my player right back in and Adam's player tackles my guy right in front of the referee and gets a Red card. So he's disqualified.

I shout over to Adam "that's bush league". Adam said, "At least I took him out". I said, "You had to, he got a red card!"

Chip said, "The game ends and Adam and I shake hands and hug as we always did. The kids thought we were going to fight. They thought we hated each other".

Then Chip told me about a Marathon - Lansing basketball game. He knew Adam had just gotten engaged to Beth. When the players were introduced, each Marathon player started toward Adam to shake his hand, but ran past him and over to the bleachers where Beth was sitting. Each player climbed up 3 rows and shook her hand. Each player said, "Are you sure you know what you're doing?"

Hmmm. Think Chip had anything to do with that?

Coach Stewart remembered one time when they were in a bar together and it was a little crowded and Adam kept getting bumped. Chip said I had to calm him down a couple of times after being jostled.

Then Adam says, "If I get bumped one more time, somebody is going to know why the Hamilton guys call me Hurricane Heck".

Stewart said, "Adam was an I.A.C. League guy first and a Section IV guy second. He always looked out for the guys in our league, even if it meant taking on the big boys like Elmira Notre Dame".

I spoke with former Lansing coach and athletic director Ed Redmond, a member of the Lansing Athletic Hall of Fame.

Ed said, "Adam was an outstanding person, coach and role model. He believed in kids and fought for them to achieve their potential. I miss my talks with Adam".

Russell Duvernoy was Adam's high school soccer coach. Let's meet Coach Duvernoy. He coached soccer for 19 years at Hamilton High School. His record was 292-86-35.

He won 8 straight league titles from 1994 to 2001 while winning 5 consecutive Section III Championships. His teams played in the State Final Four 4 times from 1995 to 1998, winning NY State titles in '95 and in '97.

He was inducted into the NY State Boys Soccer Hall of Fame in 2009. He knows something about winning.

Duvernoy commented, "As a player, Adam was a major reason our soccer program became outstanding. His status as a respected athlete in Hamilton sports was a reason why many of his peers followed him into soccer.

He accomplished the same in Lansing as a coach. His hard work and leadership steered a good soccer program into a state championship caliber program".

He continued, "As I watched his growing success, it became apparent that Lansing stood for Adam and Adam stood for Lansing".

Coach Duvernoy concluded "Adam is recognized for his leadership by his high school teammates, his Lansing teams and universally by a large circle of coaches throughout New York State".

Tom Blackford was Adam's high school basketball coach at Hamilton. Coach Blackford is one of only 45 high school coaches in New York to win more than 500 games and only the sixth coach in Section III. He won two NY State Championships while coaching at Hamilton and he was inducted into the NYS Basketball Hall of Fame in 2011. Another coach that knows something about winning.

Coach Blackford said, "I taught Adam in my physical education classes from 7th-12th grade and we developed a very special relationship that went beyond teacher/coach.

We talked on the phone quite often and I watched him grow, become a coach, a husband and a father. I am very proud of him".

He said, "Adam taught me as well. Not a day goes by that I don't think of Adam, Beth, Alexis and Madisyn".

He continued, "Adam impacted two communities, Lansing and Hamilton and any player that receives the Adam Heck Award should be congratulated. He was a great man".

Blackford relayed a story of Adam's temper as a young player.

He said, "My J.V. basketball coach was Dave Rhyde. Adam didn't like a referee's call and Dave could tell Adam was getting hot. He knew he was going to get a technical unless he took him out of the game. So he called time out and pulled Adam, before he was "T" upped. Well, Adam comes to the bench and kicks the bleachers as hard as he can. The referee was standing right there and he called a technical on Adam".

Coach Rhyde then said to Adam, "I hope it was worth it, because you're not going back in".

Many of you know that Adam knew and worked a summer basketball camp for Morgan Wooten. Let's meet Coach Wooten:

He coached DeMatha High School basketball in Hyattsville, Maryland for 45 years. His team's won numerous high school national championships.

He has coached the second most wins as a head coach in basketball history, at any level; pro, college or high school.

He is called the "Godfather of Basketball".

The great UCLA basketball coach John Wooden, who won 10 NCAA championships, once said of Morgan Wooten, "I know of no finer coach, at any level, high school, college or pro. I stand in awe of him".

Coach Wooten is 84 years old and is not in the best of health at the present. His mobility is limited and he has to use a walker. I was fortunate to speak to his son Joe, who is an outstanding coach in his own right.

Joe Wooten said, "My Dad said to tell you that Adam is the type of coach that you want your son or grandson to play for, in either soccer or basketball. He was a great teacher, coach, mentor and more importantly a better person".

Joe continued,"20 plus years ago, Adam was working our camp. My Dad was waiting for a liver transplant when Adam found my Dad unconscious in a remote bathroom in the gymnasium. Adam performed CPR and was able to keep my Dad alive until paramedics could arrive. He owes his life to Adam".

Joe said, "My Dad made an interesting statement about Adam. He said, "Adam always looked for the best in others and that's what brought out the best from Adam".

You all know the legendary Stuart Dean. A two-time NY State Champion in Girls Basketball in 2001 and Baseball in 2012.

"I consider myself extremely fortunate to have had the opportunity to work side by side with Adam, as a coach, teacher and most importantly as a friend. While he was a very knowledgeable coach from a tactical standpoint, with expertise in a variety of sports, it was his ability to connect with students that set him apart from his peers. Adam had a unique ability to build relationships with each and every student with whom he came in contact with.

"Couple that with his passion for coaching, and he was able to maximize each athlete's ability, creating an atmosphere for success, both individually and collectively as a team.

"The perfect example of his impact as a teacher and coach can be seen in the soccer program that he helped build. The success that the soccer program experienced under his guidance is a true example of his leadership abilities.

"That success is not limited to just wins, but more importantly to the life lessons he taught to every student-athlete he met.

"It is those lessons learned that will live on for generations to come, serving as a testimony to him for all that he stood for".

The next story needs a bit of a prelude. It was put together by Lansing Hall of Famer Dennis, "Bubby" Eade.

I'd like to have Bubby stand, so that you know who he is. You may have some questions for him, regarding this story. You can catch up with him during the cocktail hour to follow the induction ceremony.

Dennis is a police officer in Ocean City, Maryland. He knew Adam and Beth enjoyed watching a particular movie together. The movie…………. "Remember the Titans".

Bubby hired a retired police officer from Virginia to work for him as a crime scene investigator in Ocean City, Maryland.

The officer's name was Bob Luckett. Bob Luckett actually played on the football team depicted in the movie, the 1972 TC Williams H. S. Titans football team.

Bubby told Bob Luckett that he was going home for the weekend, because his good friend was being inducted into his high school's hall of fame. He mentioned that his favorite movie was "Remember the Titans".

Then Bubby shared his relationship with Adam, to Bob Luckett. Bob Luckett said, "Here's what I want to do. I want to talk to the coaches. I know they would like to write a note for Adam's family".

If you remember the movie, there were two coaches. The assistant Coach was Bill Yoast, who was played by Will Patten and the newly hired Head Coach, Herman Boone, who was played by Denzel Washington. If you remember the movie, there was constant racial tension throughout the film.

You may be asking yourself, why is he telling us about these coaches?

The point is, Adam was well respected by elite coaches, not only for his dedication, professionalism and passion, but also because he was a good person.

He was human, emotional and loving in his dealings with his players and his teams. He was a relationship builder.

I once heard, "People are attracted to people who care". Adam had that unique quality. He was a special individual.

We lost Adam way too soon, on August 27, 2016, when he passed away while on a preseason soccer trip in Albany. He was 42.
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