James "Ace" Adams began his lacrosse career by winning four varsity letters on St. Paul's championship teams from 1943-1946. At Johns Hopkins University, he was named to the honorable mention All-America team in 1948, first team in 1949, and third team in 1950. He led the Blue Jays to national championship titles in 1947,1948, and 1950, and a shared national title with Navy in 1949. Adams never lost a game as a collegiate player and represented Hopkins in the 1949 and 1950 North/South Collegiate All-Star games.
After college, he played for Mt. Washington Lacrosse Club from 1951-1956. Adams enjoyed a legendary coaching career that started at his high school alma mater, St. Paul's School, from 1951-1953. He also coached at Mt. Washington Club, 1957; United States Military Academy, 1958-1969; University of Pennsylvania, 1969-1977 and University of Virginia, 1978-1992.
During his tenure as head coach at Army, his teams won or shared the national championship four times. In 15 seasons at Virginia, he set the standard for ACC wins with a then-record 137 victories and led the Cavaliers to five ACC titles. His overall college coaching record was 284-123. Adams retired following the 1992 season and, at the time of his retirement, his 284 career victories were an NCAA Division I record.
Adams served as president of the USLCA from 1963-1964, and he also served on many NCAA, USILA and Lacrosse Foundation committees during his career. Adams passed away in November, 2019 at the age of 91.