Assistant coach feels confident entering 3rd year

Kevin Connell

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Adam Tribble had an idea of what he wanted to do with his life soon after he began his running career on the varsity cross country team in eighth grade. Unlike many young athletes, though, it wasn’t to turn professional.

“I wanted to be a coach ever since I was in high school,” Tribble said. “I had a good high school coach who died in a car wreck. When I was with him, I knew I wanted to be a coach, so I pretty much always knew that this is what I wanted to do.”

Now in his third year as an assistant coach with the Alabama track and field program, Tribble has made a career out of coaching a sport he fell in love with long ago. But it was not until the death of his coach during his junior year of high school that he knew this idea of being a coach would become his calling.

“I think when all of the sudden someone is doing stuff for you and then they’re gone, you have to take more ownership of it,” Tribble said. “I think [his death] really kind of spurred it on, if you will. Because all of the sudden someone’s not there helping guide you. I kind of, in a sense, died myself.”

But despite the loss of his coach with whom he was so close, Tribble didn’t quit. He stuck around and as an upperclassman on the team, helped fill in the vacated guidance by becoming a mini-coach to his teammates.

“I had to take a little bit more of a leadership role – personally and with the team,” Tribble said. “I think when you get in that kind of spot, it kind of fueled the fire to want to continue with that. I really enjoyed it.”

Head Coach Dan Waters said Tribble has been a perfect fit for the team since he arrived. “He’s a fantastic assistant,” Waters said. “He’s exactly what we hired, exactly what we wanted. He has the long-term picture in mind; he’s not taking shortcuts, which will allow us to be able to sustain success for a consistent period of time.”

Since his 2011 arrival in Tuscaloosa, Tribble has done more than just help make steady improvements to the track and field program. In May 2012, he married his wife, Meredith, who is now a volunteer coach with Alabama.

“I feel like we’re in a very, very good spot, surrounded by great people with everything that we need,” he said.