Jr. lettered in wrestling and football at Penn Hills High School
in Pittsburgh's eastern suburbs, and then came to Geneva
College in the fall of 1961 as a 165-lb redshirt halfback.
When he returned for his sophomore season, Sam Adams was a
210-lb tackle. He finished his career with the Covies as a
Sam was a District 18 All-Star on both
sides of the line of scrimmage—offensive and defensive
tackle—and was elected football co-captain during his senior
season. Sam also played and lettered in tennis at Geneva and
was a member of the 1964 West Penn Champion tennis team.
After graduating in December 1965, Sam
began his career in education, first teaching biology while
coaching at New Brighton High School, then two years later
in the same capacity at Beaver Falls High School.
In 1969, Sam returned to his alma mater,
becoming an Assistant Professor of Education. He also became
an assistant coach on the football team and head coach of
Geneva's track and field team. It was at that time that Sam
became interested in officiating, and he earned his stripes
as a PIAA football and basketball official in 1971. Five
years later, he added fast-pitch softball to his officiating
resume. Sam worked hundreds of varsity football, basketball,
and softball games in both Western Pennsylvania and Eastern
Ohio, including WPIAL and PIAA playoff games and finals.
Off the fields and courts, Sam served as
the assigning secretary for the Beaver Valley Football
Officials organization, assigning secretary and charter
member of the Beaver Valley PIAA Softball Officials, and
officials' assignor for all WPIAL girls' basketball games in
Beaver County. In 1990, Sam became a member of the Tri-State
Eastern Intercollegiate Football Officials Association,
working Division II and Division III games as a field judge
and then as a referee. He was elected president of that
In 2006, Sam retired as principal of the
Beaver County AVTS and in 2016 retired from officiating with
45 years of service in both football and basketball and 40
seasons of softball. Today, Sam and his wife, Toni, live in
Butler. They have four children, two step-daughters, eleven
grandchildren, and one great-granddaughter.