Derek Adams

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Derek Adams
Personal information
Full name Derek Watt Adams[1]
Date of birth (1975-06-25) 25 June 1975 (age 43)
Place of birth Glasgow, Scotland
Height 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Playing position Midfielder
Club information
Current team
Plymouth Argyle (manager)
Youth career
1991–1992 Aberdeen
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1992–1995 Aberdeen 0 (0)
1995–1996 Burnley 2 (0)
1996–1998 Ross County 72 (41)
1998–2004 Motherwell 159 (18)
1999–2000Ayr United (loan) 4 (0)
2004–2005 Aberdeen 20 (4)
2005–2006 Livingston 25 (0)
2006–2009 Ross County 36 (4)
Total 318 (67)
Teams managed
2007–2010 Ross County
2010–2011 Hibernian (assistant)
2011–2014 Ross County
2015– Plymouth Argyle
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Derek Watt Adams (born 25 June 1975) is a Scottish football manager and former player. He has been the manager of Football League One club Plymouth Argyle since 2015. Adams played professionally for six different clubs, including Ross County and Motherwell, where he made over 100 league appearances for both teams.

Adams became manager of Ross County in 2007, winning promotion from the Scottish Second Division in his first season, before reaching the Scottish Cup Final two years later. He joined Hibernian as assistant manager in 2010 before returning to Ross County the following year, where he won the Scottish First Division and was voted PFA Scotland Manager of the Year for the 2011–12 season. Having left County in 2014, Adams became manager of Plymouth Argyle in June 2015.[2]

Playing career[edit]

Adams started his professional career with Aberdeen, but failed to make a first-team appearance. He moved to English side Burnley, making a couple of league appearances in the mid-1990s before returning to Scotland with Ross County in 1996.

Adams was transferred to Motherwell in a deal worth £200,000 in 1998 and spent six years at Fir Park, including a short loan spell with Ayr United. Adams was one of a number of players affected by the club's administration problems, accepting a pay cut in April 2002.[3] Adams failed to win any trophies during his time with Well, although he scored in the 2002–03 Scottish Cup semi-final defeat against Rangers.[4] In 2004, Adams agreed a pre-contract move to his home town club Aberdeen,[5] spending a year at Pittodrie before being transfer-listed[6] and leaving for Livingston in 2005.[7]

Coaching career[edit]

In 2006, Adams returned to Ross County as player–coach.[8] In November 2007, Adams was promoted to the role of player–manager, having served as caretaker manager since October.[9] Despite the terms of Adams' appointment, his last playing appearance was in October 2007. He led Ross County to the Scottish Second Division championship in 2008, earning promotion to the First Division. Adams at the age of 33 became the holder of the UEFA Pro Licence which is the highest coaching badge in the senior game. Adams aged 34 then led Ross County to the 2010 Scottish Cup Final, causing upset victories over SPL sides Hibernian and Celtic.[10] County lost 3–0 to Dundee United in the Final.[11]

Adams left Ross County on 11 November 2010 to join Hibernian as assistant manager to Colin Calderwood.[12] Adams has had several disciplinary cases considered by the Scottish Football Association during his coaching career.[13] At one point he was due to be banned for a number of matches,[14] but he won an appeal against part of the suspension.[15] Adams was then suspended for further matches, a sanction which Hibs appealed against.[16] While this appeal was ongoing, Adams described the whole disciplinary process as distressing.[17]

Adams left Hibernian on 19 May 2011 to return to Ross County as manager.[18] In his first season back at County, Adams guided the club to the 2011–12 Scottish First Division championship and promotion to the Scottish Premier League.[19] County clinched the championship with five games to spare. They went on a remarkable 34 game unbeaten run and finished 24 points above 2nd placed Dundee.[19] Adams was elected PFA Scotland Manager of the Year for the 2011–12 season.[20]

Before the 2012-13 season, Adams made seven signings, all of which were free agents.[21] After three draw and one win, Adams was named SPL manager of the month for August.[22] The club's 40-match unbeaten league was ended by a 2–1 defeat to St Johnstone; Adams said he was very proud of achieving such a long run without defeat.[23] In November 2012, Adams appointed Neale Cooper, who had just left Hartlepool United, as his assistant manager.[24] Ross County struggled during the autumn of 2012, but Adams expected the club to avoid relegation.[25] In late-December the club began a winning streak, that eventually led to a top-six finish in 5th position and 1 point off a European position in their first season in the top flight.In the January 2013 transfer window, Adams offloaded nine players and made six new signings.[26] The winning streak continued, which resulted Adams receiving manager of the month awards for January[27] and February.[28] During the season, Adams was linked with positions at Dundee United[29] and Aberdeen.[30] Adams was nominated for PFA Scotland Manager of the Year,[31] but lost out to Allan Johnston.[32] At the end of the 2012-13 season, Adams signed a new contract with the club.[33]

Ross County finished 7th under Adams at the end of the 2013–14 Scottish Premiership season, the second season in a row finishing above Hibernian, Hearts, Kilmarnock, Partick Thistle and St Mirren.

Following a 2-1 Scottish League Cup win over Stranraer, Adams left Ross County on 28 August 2014.[34]

Derek Adams was appointed Plymouth Argyle manager on 11 June 2015.[2] In his first season in English football as a Manager he guided Plymouth Argyle FC to the League 2 Play Off Final at Wembley for the first time in 20 years, the following season guided them to a 2nd-place finish and promotion to league 1 just missing out on top place by the last game.



Ross County


Ross County
Plymouth Argyle


  • PFA Scotland Manager of the Year for the 2011–12 season.

Managerial statistics[edit]

As of match played 15 September 2018[35]
Managerial record by team and tenure
Team From To Record
P W D L Win %
Ross County 4 October 2007 11 November 2010 154 70 41 43 045.5
Ross County 15 May 2011 28 August 2014 131 51 37 43 038.9
Plymouth Argyle 11 June 2015 Present 171 77 37 57 045.0
Total 456 198 115 143 043.4


  1. ^ "Derek Adams". Barry Hugman's Footballers. Retrieved 26 September 2016. 
  2. ^ a b "Plymouth Argyle have appointed former Ross County boss Derek Adams as their new manager". Argyle Media. Plymouth Argyle FC. 11 June 2015. Retrieved 11 June 2015. 
  3. ^ "Motherwell axe 19 players". BBC Sport. 29 April 2002. Retrieved 2009-06-02. 
  4. ^ "Rangers beat brave Well". BBC Sport. 19 April 2003. Retrieved 2009-06-02. 
  5. ^ "Dons land Well duo". BBC Sport. 12 May 2004. Retrieved 2009-06-02. 
  6. ^ "Whelan to leave as Dons cull six". BBC Sport. 9 May 2005. Retrieved 2009-06-02. 
  7. ^ "Livi beat Caley Thistle to Adams". BBC Sport. 29 July 2005. Retrieved 2009-06-02. 
  8. ^ "Adams makes Ross County return". BBC Sport. 12 July 2006. Retrieved 2009-06-02. 
  9. ^ "Adams confirmed as County manager". BBC Sport. 21 November 2007. Retrieved 2009-06-02. 
  10. ^ Gibson, Fraser (10 April 2010). "Celtic 0–2 Ross County". BBC Sport. Retrieved 11 November 2010. 
  11. ^ McGuigan, Thomas (15 May 2010). "Dundee Utd 3 – 0 Ross County". BBC Sport. Retrieved 11 November 2010. 
  12. ^ "Derek Adams exits Ross County to be Hibernian assistant". BBC Sport. 11 November 2010. Retrieved 11 November 2010. 
  13. ^ "Ross County star Steven Craig stunned by 'gentleman' Derek Adams latest touchline ban". Daily Record. 14 April 2011. Retrieved 14 April 2011. 
  14. ^ "Ross County boss Derek Adams' touchline ban stretched to an incredible 18 games". Daily Record. 9 November 2010. Retrieved 15 April 2011. 
  15. ^ "Relief for Hibs assistant Derek Adams as he wins battle against latest ban". Daily Record. 10 February 2011. Retrieved 15 April 2011. 
  16. ^ "Hibernian to contest Derek Adams' dugout ban". BBC Sport. 15 April 2011. Retrieved 15 April 2011. 
  17. ^ "Adams hits out at ban". Eurosport. 22 April 2011. Retrieved 22 April 2011. 
  18. ^ "Derek Adams returns as Ross County manager". BBC Sport. 19 May 2011. Retrieved 19 May 2011. 
  19. ^ a b "Ross County celebrate promotion to SPL". BBC Sport. BBC. 11 April 2012. Retrieved 11 April 2012. 
  20. ^ MacDonald, Kenny (10 May 2012). "Hell at Hibees proved I could NEVER be No2". The Scottish Sun. News International. Retrieved 10 May 2012. 
  21. ^ "Ross County manager Derek Adams targets free agents". BBC Sport. 1 September 2012. Retrieved 9 July 2013. 
  22. ^ "Ross County boss Derek Adams named manager of the month". BBC Sport. 30 August 2012. Retrieved 9 July 2013. 
  23. ^ "Derek Adams hails Ross County display as run ends". BBC Sport. 22 September 2012. Retrieved 9 July 2013. 
  24. ^ "Neale Cooper returns to Ross County as assistant manager". BBC Sport. 23 November 2012. Retrieved 9 July 2013. 
  25. ^ "Ross County manager Derek Adams confident of SPL survival". BBC Sport. 10 November 2012. Retrieved 9 July 2013. 
  26. ^ "Ross County manager Derek Adams wields the axe". Daily Record. 21 December 2012. Retrieved 9 July 2013. 
  27. ^ "Ross County manager Derek Adams wins January SPL award". BBC Sport. 7 February 2013. Retrieved 9 July 2013. 
  28. ^ "Ross County's Derek Adams wins February SPL award". BBC Sport. 7 March 2013. Retrieved 9 July 2013. 
  29. ^ "Dundee United: Mixu Paatelainen & Michael O'Neill on short-list". BBC Sport. 23 January 2013. Retrieved 9 July 2013. 
  30. ^ "Ross County rebuff Aberdeen's approach for Derek Adams". BBC Sport. 22 March 2013. Retrieved 9 July 2013. 
  31. ^ "Celtic's Neil Lennon on PFA Scotland manager of year list". BBC Sport. 20 April 2013. Retrieved 9 July 2013. 
  32. ^ "Allan Johnston wins Scotland's Manager of the Year award". BBC Sport. 5 May 2013. Retrieved 9 July 2013. 
  33. ^ "Ross County manager Derek Adams signs new contract". BBC Sport. 24 May 2013. Retrieved 9 July 2013. 
  34. ^ "Ross County sack manager Derek Adams and his father George". BBC Sport. BBC. 28 August 2014. Retrieved 28 August 2014. 
  35. ^ Derek Adams management career statistics at Soccerbase

External links[edit]