Chairman Roy MacGregor revealed recruiting Derek Adams as Ross County boss for a third time was a first for him in any business venture.
The chief of the Highlands’ Premiership club and the Global Energy Group swiftly appointed the 48-year-old as Malky Mackay’s replacement, triggering a clause in the Morecambe manager’s contract, with Lancashire side ninth in League Two.
Adams, who won promotions with Plymouth and Morecambe within a nine-year overall spell in England, previously managed County from 2007 to 2010 and 2011 to 2014.
In his first period, which included a Second Division title success, he led the First Division risers into a Scottish Cup runners-up place against Dundee United in 2010, beating Hibs and Celtic on the way.
After a short stint as assistant manager of Hibs under Colin Calderwood, he was back up north and took County into the Premiership, then called the SPL, in stunning style, with a 40-game unbeaten run spanning the two divisions until September 2012 when St Johnstone got the better of them.
His first two years of bossing County in the top-flight saw them finish fifth and seventh respectively.
‘Good people are difficult to find’
MacGregor, who has handed Adams a one-year rolling contract, explained why he had no hesitation at making his former player the club’s boss for a third time.
When asked whether Adams is the first person in any of his businesses he has appointed three times, the Staggies chairman said: “Yes, but good people are difficult to find.
“This industry is a very challenging industry.
“Malky was a really good friend, so it wasn’t easy (to sack him). I don’t take that lightly.
“I’ve responsibility for staff at the club, for the fans, and just felt this was right.
“The point I made a few days ago was trying to get someone who could go into city clubs and not be afraid.
“I’m not saying that didn’t happen in the last nine years, but Derek’s record from previous was that his style of play was to at least go and have a go.”
Past success made Adams top pick
Two years ago, in his first season, Malky Mackay guided County to a cracking sixth-placed Premiership finish, for the first time since 2016.
In June this year, they needed a brilliant late recovery and penalty shoot-out nerves of steel to beat Championship opponents Partick Thistle in the play-off final to remain at top-flight level.
No victories since beating this weekend’s opponents Kilmarnock 1-0 on September 2 led to MacGregor sacking the former Scotland performance director and ex-Watford and Cardiff City boss last Wednesday.
MacGregor says the success of Adams already as the boss at Dingwall was a big factor in appointing him once again as the club aim to become more than firefighters at the foot of the table.
He said: “Probably Ross County’s most successful time, on our journey, was in Derek’s time.
“As a First Division club, he took us to a Scottish Cup final.
“He then went to Hibs under Colin Calderwood, but assistant managership didn’t work out.
“We took him back and he took us into the Premiership.
“Last year, we got a bit of a shock, there’s no doubt. We got out of jail, winning on a penalty shoot-out.
“We felt we hadn’t quite picked up the baton this year and we were looking for someone that understood the club more.
“We’re a third through the league season, with two-thirds to go. If you take in a manager, normally it takes a month or two for them to get to know the players and the club. That was probably too big a risk for us.
“It was very easy to bring Derek back. He understands the club and has followed it from England as well.”
Ferguson thrilled to land boss Adams
County chief executive Steven Ferguson, meanwhile, is delighted to be reunited with his former team-mate at managerial level.
He said: “We are delighted to welcome Derek Adams back to Ross County Football Club. He returns following a successful period in England and has led over 700 games as a manager across his career.
“Derek knows the Highlands and our club well. We look forward to seeing him build on the solid foundations laid by Malky and his staff over the last two years and believe that Derek inherits a talented playing squad that are capable of being successful in the SPFL.”