Adam Money hasn’t been credited with making a tackle, unassisted or solo, in at least 11 years.
All the same, the former Whiteland High School and Yale University football player remains close to the gridiron scene in an entirely different capacity.
The 33-year-old, more commonly addressed these days as Dr. Money, is an orthopedic sports medicine physician specializing in shoulder and knee conditions at the Rothman Institute in Orlando, Florida.
As head orthopedic surgeon for the Orlando Predators, one of six indoor football franchises in the National Arena League, Money still gets a sideline view of a sport that spawned some of his most cherished memories.
“It was an awesome experience to be back in athletics again,” Money said.
Money spread himself as thin as possible during his time at Whiteland (2003-07), earning a total of 10 varsity letters. He was the Warriors’ quarterback and a safety in football, a point guard in hoops and the baseball team’s starting shortstop.
If that wasn’t impressive enough, he graduated third academically in the Class of 2007, which had 298 students.
“I went back last fall and was at a football practice to talk to the guys, and nobody knew who I was,” Money said, laughing. “I remember being that high school kid and someone coming to talk, and it was some old guy.
“Now, I’m that old guy.”
As a Warrior sophomore, Money was the signal-caller for the last of Ken Sears’ tenure as head coach.
New coach Darrin Fisher took over in 2005 and has been in charge ever since. He acknowledges the impact Money and his classmates had in helping pour the foundation for the success the Warriors have since achieved.
“When you’re new, you really don’t know what you have. It took me a few weeks to figure out how special Adam was,” Fisher said. “He was the guy who, to the opponent, had a target on his back.
“That senior group, it jumped in with both feet, and Adam was a good leader for them.”
A handful of games stand out in Fisher’s mind.
As a junior, Money quarterbacked Whiteland to a 35-28 overtime victory over Mooresville in a sectional semifinal, a game in which he also made two interceptions in the end zone to thwart Pioneer drives.
The following season, he was sick leading up to a Week 3 game at Plainfield, which had won 15 straight against the Warriors dating back to 1989.
Money was absent the first three days of the week, made it to school for half the day on Thursday, and still wound up playing Friday night.
“He was so good,” Fisher said of his squad’s 37-27 loss. “Even for a guy who’s not sick, he played incredible.”
In the postseason, Money’s ball-handling and flawless execution in what Fisher refers to as “a complete quagmire,” led the Warriors past unbeaten Mooresville, 13-10, in yet another sectional semi. Whiteland’s season ended with a 31-7 regional loss to Cathedral, a game in which Money sustained a sprained ankle in the opening quarter.
Nonetheless, he finished what he started.
Money attended Yale and was an All-Ivy League cornerback following his junior and senior seasons. While on the New Haven, Connecticut, campus, he began dating the captain of the school’s women’s volleyball team, setter and Nebraska native Ally Mendenhall.
Mendenhall was in the process of making her own mark at Yale. She was first team all-conference as a senior and finished her volleyball career third on the program’s career assists list with 3,173.
The two married in 2015 and are parents of two daughters, 3-year-old Everly and 8-month-old Mirra.
Whiteland athletic director David Edens, a former Warriors athlete himself, isn’t surprised at any of Money’s accomplishments, professionally or otherwise. Edens was Money’s sixth-grade physical education teacher, seventh-grade football coach and Sears’ varsity assistant in baseball.
The two remain friends today.
“I was teaching middle school then, so I had Adam in class as a sixth-grader,” Edens said. “Even back then, he was like, ‘I want to be a surgeon.’ He was always driven.
“It doesn’t surprise me whatsoever that he’s doing what he’s doing. When I coached him in seventh-grade football, he always had game plans and suggestions, and the other kids never questioned him.”
Money received his medical degree from Georgetown and went on to complete a residency in orthopedic surgery at Prisma Health/University of South Carolina. He followed with a Sports Medicine Orthopedic Fellowship from Stanford University.
So many stops. So many different parts of the country. So many accomplishments.
Still, Money remains Whiteland through and through.
“It was the mentorship and leadership I received from Ken Sears, Darrin Fisher and Dave Edens. And I’m still very close to some of the guys I played sports with at Whiteland,” Money said. “I’m very proud of my hometown and my high school.”