Bison women turn to hall of famer Jaime Adams to help connect with players
One of the program's all-time leading scorers returns for a second stint as an NDSU assistant
FARGO — The North Dakota State career started in 1997 when Jaime Berry came off the bench in 28 games as a Bison freshman. The women's basketball playing days ended in 2001 when she left as the 16th all-time leading scorer in team history.
Berry returned in 2008 as a Bison assistant coach, a stint that lasted until 2012. Call it good for service with a program? Nope.
Now married with three boys, Jaime Adams is proof you can go home again. Twice. She accepted an assistant coaching position and will be on her second go-around in trying to return the Bison to the glory of what is becoming a long time ago.
There were hints of it two years ago when the Bison went 15-9 and won a game in the Summit League tournament in the pandemic-shortened season. A Bison Athletic Hall of Fame inductee in 2019, she’ll be counted on to help reverse last season’s camaraderie issues that led to an 11-18 record.
One of her duties is to develop strong connections with the players.
“Maybe that stems from the wild changes with kids able to transfer a lot more easily,” Adams said. “Hopefully developing those ties and making connections with kids will persevere with some things. Developing those connections and loyalty hopefully will stabilize things more.”
She'll also be recruiting North Dakota and South Dakota and help with scouting and player development. Adams has spent the last eight years in Mohall, N.D., in two capacities: home with her husband, Charlie, and their boys Sawyer (8), Easton (6) and Max (1) and last season as the head coach of the girls basketball program.
After being out of coaching for seven years, she got back into the action last year with Mohall-Lansford-Sherwood, leading the Maverick girls to the North Dakota Class B state tournament.
Getting back into coaching seemed like riding a bike. Jaime watched most of the Bison games on TV and stayed in touch with what was going on with the program.
“We went to all the games around here and watched a ton of basketball,” she said. “I’m a die-hard fan, I want to see this program succeed.”
That was a big reason head coach Jory Collins turned to Adams. They’ve talked since Collins accepted the Bison head coaching position in 2019. NDSU also hired Michaela Crall as an assistant, who previously was at Dubuque, Missouri State and Northwest Missouri State.
NDSU’s roster on the floor and on the bench will look much different next fall. Eight players either graduated, quit or transferred, not to mention the departure of two assistants.
“He’s looking for some maturity on the staff and somebody who can connect with players and somebody who is passionate about women’s basketball,” Adams said. “So he thought of me. He gave me a call and we’ve been talking.”
Adams is also the activities director at Mohall-Lansford-Sherwood and will begin her Bison duties full-time after her high school contract is up on May 25.
“We loved living up here, it’s a great community and there are a lot of things that are hard to leave,” she said. “But we have a lot of friends and family in the Fargo area. It will be bittersweet departing here.”
Adams has remained close to former Bison players living in the area. Her parents, Mike and Monica, live in Fargo and have been regular attendees at Bison women’s games over the years.
The move includes Charlie, a West Point graduate and a general manager at a seed company in Mohall.
“Charlie has been so supportive of my coaching career, he believes in my ability to connect with kids and make a positive impact on kids’ lives,” Jaime said. “He’s excited to see whatever will pop his way.”