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Adkins Returns to Freedom to Become New Head Football Coach

Freedom High School Principal Shanda Epley announces J.K. Adkins as the Patriots’ new head football coach. Adkins has been the head football coach at Mount Airy High School since 2018, where he led Mount Airy in two consecutive state champions as head coach. A native of Burke County, Adkins looks forward to returning to Morganton to lead the Patriots.

Epley said, “J.K. is a 1997 Freedom graduate. He brings a wealth of knowledge of the game of football and has had success in building great programs. Not only does he have success on the field but also in the classroom. One point that really stood out to me was his student-centered approach. A strong program overall starts in the classroom.”

Freedom Athletic Director Antonio Lylerly said, “This is a tremendous hire for Freedom High School, and we look forward to the success and future of Freedom football.”

Coach Adkins said, “It is a true honor to be selected to lead Freedom Football into its next chapter. This program is a sleeping giant that is ready to be elevated. I am excited about the connections that will take place between the school, youth/middle school programs, and the community as a whole. It will be a process, but it will be a process that is well worth the investment from all involved. I grew up with unwavering pride of being a Patriot. It is an honor to be a part of this program. I look forward to re-establishing that Patriot Pride and bringing a new level of success to this program and community.”

Adkins’ Coaching Highlights:

3 time State Champion
2023 Mount Airy
2022 Mount Airy
2010 Salisbury (Offensive Coordinator)
63-10 record at Mount Airy HS (86% win pct highest in 100 plus year school history)
Averaged 51 points over the last 4 seasons
5 time Conference Champions
2 time Regional Champions
2 time State Champions
3 time NC Coach of the Year — (2015 NC 1A Coach of the Year, 2022 NC 1A Coach of the Year, 2023 NC Prep Football Coach of the Year)
2017-2018 East/West All Star Staff
2016-2020 NCFCA Board of Directors