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 Rochester Adams boys basketball coach Brad Crighton huddles with his team during a game against Beverly Hills Detroit Country Day earlier this season. Crighton recently announced his resignation from Adams after three seasons.

Rochester Adams boys basketball coach Brad Crighton huddles with his team during a game against Beverly Hills Detroit Country Day earlier this season. Crighton recently announced his resignation from Adams after three seasons.

Photo by Donna Dalziel

Crighton steps down as Adams basketball coach

By: Jacob Herbert | Rochester Post | Published April 10, 2019


ROCHESTER HILLS — In a surprise meeting with members of the Rochester Adams boys basketball team in March, coach Brad Crighton announced his resignation from the program.

Crighton walks away from Adams due to family reasons. Crighton has three children, all of whom play sports. His older son, Jack Crighton, plays basketball and baseball as a freshman at Orchard Lake St. Mary’s. He also has a son and a daughter in sixth and fifth grades, respectively.Due to his coaching responsibilities, Crighton was unable to make enough time to attend his children’s games.

“During the course of the season, it was hard knowing I had games on the same days that he (Jack) did,” Crighton said. “Missing out on those experiences and everything, it got hard. On the weekends, we would have practice and I would miss my younger son and daughter’s games as well. Just getting recaps of the games wasn’t enough.”

Crighton, an Adams alum, took over the program in 2016. Prior to his stint at Adams, he led the Rochester Hills Stoney Creek girls basketball program, winning three district championships in his tenure.

In his first season with Adams, the Highlanders went 0-21, but the team rebounded with back-to-back winning seasons.

“The first year was a challenging year, but it might have also been the most rewarding season,” Crighton said. “We did go 0-21, but that group of kids was probably the best group of kids that I ever had, because they were always ready for the challenge, they always worked hard in practice and they worked together.”

In the 2017-18 season, the Highlanders fought to a 14-9 record overall, which concluded with a district title win over Utica Eisenhower. The coach said that turnaround was great for the kids who were winless one season before, and that they finally got to see their hard work pay off.

The improvement that Crighton made wasn’t lost on Adams Athletic Director Jason Rapp.

“The progress made on the floor was impressive to see. Coach Crighton deserves a great deal of credit for guiding the basketball program from a winless season two years ago to a highly competitive level of play the past two seasons,” Rapp said in a prepared statement.  “He was proud to return to his alma mater and enjoyed some memorable moments while at the helm of the Highlanders.”

The winning culture surrounding Adams boys basketball took another step forward this past season. After a 0-2 start to the season, Adams won 18 of its next 20 games, finishing at 18-4 overall and with an Oakland Activities Association White Division championship.

The Highlanders were led by a mix of young and old talent this past season. Freshman Gunner Walters and sophomore Ethan Emerzian proved that the Highlanders will be in good hands for years to come. Emerzian has led the Highlanders in scoring the past two seasons. Peyton Prieskorn will return as a senior next season to provide veteran leadership.

The 2018-19 campaign for the Highlanders ended early with a 58-42 loss to Lake Orion High in a Division 1 district semifinal. In the district opener, Crighton’s team beat back-to-back state champions Clarkston High 38-37.

“This season was great,” Crighton said. “We had some nice young talent. We kept on getting better and better. I thought we were playing our best basketball at the end of the season. Beating Clarkston was a great win, but it was also one where we knew going into it that we had the team to do it.”

When asked about what he’ll miss the most about coaching at Adams, Crighton immediately mentioned being around the kids. He didn’t rule out the possibility of coaching again, but he wants to take time in the immediate future to be with his family.

Both Crighton and his wife, Courtney, graduated from Adams. Brad collected his diploma in 1995 while playing basketball, baseball and golf during his time there.

“Adams means a lot to not only me, but my family,” Crighton said. “We live in the district, so it’s definitely a place where we have memories.”