Rich Adams excited to be new Bloomfield HS softball head coach

Bloomfield alum takes over for legend Bob Mayer, who will stay as a volunteer assistant

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BLOOMFIELD, NJ — Rich Adams recognizes that he has big shoes to fill in replacing a legend such as Bob Mayer.

But Adams will get much advice from Mayer. 

Adams has been named the new softball head coach at Bloomfield High School, taking over for Mayer. Though Mayer is no longer the head coach, he will still be involved with the program as a volunteer assistant.

Adams, a 2007 BHS graduate, is thrilled about being the new head coach.

“I’m excited,” he said. “We had some sessions over the summer where I got to meet some of the girls, get some initial work in before school started. It gave me a chance to get my hands wet, for a lack of a better term. But it’s exciting. We have our coaching staff back together.”

Mayer feels confident Adams will do a tremendous job. Mayer is quite familiar with Adams.

“He’s a Bloomfield person,” Mayer said of Adams. “He’s actually a friend of my son growing up, so I’ve known him a long time. I actually taught him way back, too, in elementary school. He has knowledge, and he’s committed to doing a good job.”

Adams feels grateful to have Mayer as an assistant coach.

“I have a great deal of respect for him as a coach and as a person, too,” Adams said. “He is bringing 33 years of experience that I don’t have to the table. I am excited about working with him. He has a lot to offer.” 

Bloomfield had a relatively young team this past spring. They are looking to improve on an 11-14 record.

“We’re returning a good majority of the team from last year,” Adams said. “They started a lot of young players last year; a couple of sophomores cracked the lineup that are coming back, and we’re excited about it.”

During his BHS days, Adams played baseball for the Bengals. He played for current head coach Mike Policastro, a 1989 BHS graduate. Policasto’s first year at the helm was in Adams’ senior year. 

After graduating from BHS, Adams went to Ramapo College, where he briefly played baseball.

Adams later returned to BHS and became one of Policastro’s assistant coaches. After three seasons, Adams then went to Glen Ridge High School to become an assistant baseball coach under Liam Penberthy, a 2008 BHS graduate, for six seasons. Adams came back to BHS this past spring as an assistant coach under Policastro.

Adams, who was an instructor at Policastro’s annual youth baseball camp this summer, is grateful for Policastro’s guidance, as well.

“I am very grateful for the opportunities that Poli has given me,” Adams said. “He’s a great guy, too. He’s one of the most good-hearted people I have ever met.”

Adams, Penberthy and Mike Carter Jr. a 2013 BHS graduate and son of BHS head football coach Mike Carter, all served as coaches of the Bloomfield 18U baseball team this summer.

Adams coaches other sports at BHS. He is currently the freshmen boys soccer coach. This past winter, he was the freshman boys basketball coach. Adams coached the shot-putters on the track-and-field team while also coaching baseball.

Mayer was the head coach for the softball team for the past 34 years, amassing 561 victories and several league, county and state sectional titles. He also was a physical education teacher in Bloomfield for 46 years, retiring at the end of the 2020-21 school year.

In addition to Mayer, the BHS coaching staff includes Lexi Corio, a former standout BHS softball player and 2020 graduate. Corio attends William Paterson University. She continued her softball career at WPU, but decided to be a BHS coach instead.

The Bengals, of course, want to make good runs in the county and state tournaments. But Adams wants his team initially to focus on improving each day when the season starts.

“Every day, the idea is to improve,” he said. “That’s all we want. My main goal is, we want to improve from when we start on March 16 until our season comes to a close.”

Photos Courtesy of Rich Adams and Jerry Simon.