Growing up in Milton, Adam Rotar watched his dad James coach eighth grade girls’ and boys’ basketball.
James Rotar taught in Milton and coached girls and boys basketball for over 30 years. Last week, his son Adam joined him in the ranks as a head coach.
Adam Rotar was named the head coach of the women’s basketball team at Lincoln Trail College in Illinois.
“It’s a special moment because I value where I’m at because of my father, because of my parents,” Rotar said.
Adam’s dad, James, taught at Milton Middle School for 37 years, and coached the eighth-grade basketball teams for 34 years. He died in 2017.
“It’s been a goal since high school. I started out as the manager,” said Rotar, who is also the son of Nancy. “Watching my dad coach, it was something I wanted to do.”
Rotar has been an assistant coach at Lincoln Trail College — who competes in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) — since 2016. Before Lincoln Trail, Rotar was the head coach of the Toledo Elite AAU basketball team and served as a national evaluator for Blue Star Basketball.
Rotar was an assistant coach at Lourdes University (Ohio), Colorado College and Cal Poly Pamona. He also was a video coordinator for the men’s basketball team at the University of Missouri under Quin Snyder, who is the current head coach of the NBA’s Utah Jazz.
“Here’s a small-town kid with big dreams of becoming a college coach,” Rotar said.
“It’s a goal that I had and wanted and now it’s finally here.”
Rotar takes over for Scott Sparks, who stepped down over the summer. The Milton native graduated from nearby from UW-Whitewater and earned a Master of Science in Exercise and Sport Science with an emphasis in Sports Administration from UW- La Crosse.
Now, Rotar coaches down in Robinson Illinois, roughly five hours away from Milton and two hours away from Champaign, Illinois.
“It’s awesome to come to the office everyday and coach college basketball,” Rotar said. “What better job?”
The job may look a bit different with concerns of COVID-19 still impacting the country, but Rotar understands it’s a unique situation for all coaches, new and old.
“Us, as coaches, we face challenges all the time,” Rotar said. “This is uncharted waters. No one has gone through this before.”
Even with the uncharted waters, Rotar is hopeful he can get the most out of his team.
“I talk about three things: The strive to be at the top of the conference, to continue to be academically sound and the kids’ personal growth and development,” he said.
When Rotar does take the court as the head coach at Lincoln Trail, it will be just like how his father walked the sidelines at Milton Middle School.
“Just a small-town kid pursuing a dream I wanted since high school,” Rotar said. “I’ve stayed on track despite all the challenges and obstacles I’ve gone through.”