As a prep athlete, Adolph was an integral part of the legendary Ned Novell (SCSHOF '80) football teams at Mogadore - teams that won 30 straight games over 4 years. His accomplishments on the hard court were equally impressive being that he once held the school's basketball single-game scoring record.
A three-sport star at The University of Akron during the early 1960's, John Thomas Adolph ranks with the all-time best athletes produced by the Zips. As a freshman, Adolph quickly earned a starting spot at end on the football team. Against Wittenberg he caught eight passes to break the previous UA record for receptions in a game. In addition to his pass catching ability, Tom also was a kicking specialist and established several school records, including 44 extra points in 52 attempts, before his four-year career ended. Adolph's superlative play earned him first team All-Ohio Conference his junior (1961) and senior (1962) seasons. In the spring he turned his attention to baseball where he lettered four seasons as a pitcher. As a sophomore (1960-61), Adolph gave basketball a one-year shot and he saw enough action to earn another letter. Adolph's fine nine letter winning-career was culminated by being voted at UA's Athlete of the Year in 1962-63.