It’s unusual for someone to show the level of loyalty that Mike Whisner has demonstrated to the Adel-Desoto-Minburn Tigers football program.The former Adel-Desoto football player and head coach of the ADM football team for the last 26 seasons announced his retirement recently and confirmed the news with Raccoon Valley Radio this week. Whisner’s ties to the program began as a player in the mid-1970s.
“My senior year was (Adel-Desoto’s) first year in the playoffs, and I was a captain, and I had a great class of fellow seniors and underclassmen that played then.” Whisner said.
After high school Whisner attended Wartburg College in Waverly, playing football for the Knights from 1976-80. He graduated with a bachelor of arts degree in physical education in hopes of becoming a coach. After one year as an assistant on the Adel-Desoto staff, Whisner got his first head football coaching position at Lincoln Center- McGruber, posting a 3-5 record in his only season with the team. Whisner returned to Adel in 1982 to once again become an assistant football coach before being named the head football coach of ADM in 1992.
Whisner shares all that he accomplished in the 26 years as ADM’s head football coach. “In that time as the head coach here, I’ve had 127 wins and 116 losses, so I feel pretty good about that.” Whisner said, “The last few years have been pretty rough but gosh there’s more to life than just football. We’ve had some great kids come through here and have gone on and played football, so I feel good about that.”
Whisner’s other ADM football accolades include becoming the first Adel player to represent the school in the annual Shrine Bowl football game, and was named the head coach of the South team in the 2016 game. As a head coach he led ADM to six district championships (1993, 1997, 1999 (co-champs), 2007 (three-way tie), 2010, 2011), and 11 trips to the Class 3A playoffs (1993, 1997, 1999, 2007, 2009-14). ADM best finish under Whisner came in 2011 when ADM posted a 12-1 overall record. The Tigers lost the eventual state champions Union Laporte-City, 42-28 in the semifinal round at the UNI-Dome.
ADM football ended their 2017 campaign last month with an overall record of 1-8. The Tigers lose 16 seniors to graduation.