“A lot of people thought I’d retire here and I actually thought that up until all this started happening,” said North Stokes track and cross country coach Rodney King. “I never thought I’d leave North Stokes. I went to high school here. The only time I’ve left is when I went off to college.”
After 17 years of working with the track program King announced he’s accepted an athletic director position at the Millennium Charter Academy in Mount Airy.
“I feel like this is where God wants me to be at this time but it’s going to be hard to leave. I have a lot invested in the athletes and students here.”
Along with King’s duties as a teacher and women’s head coach, he’s also stepping down as state meet director, a position he’s held since 2009.
King leaves behind a trail of conference and regional wins as the Lady Vikings head coach. This season he led the girls to a second place finish in the NCHSAA 1A Track and Field Championships at NC A&T State University in Greensboro.
“I’ve really enjoyed it. Our group works hard. I always feel like the coaches are only as good as their athletes and we’ve been blessed to have some really good athletes come through. They’re hardworking and put a lot of time and effort in.”
As a high school student at North Stokes, King ran track under coach Bill Hart.
“He was a real role model in my life. He’s one reason I went into teaching and when he found out I was applying for a job at the school, he pretty much told me you’re going to coach track and cross country.”
King’s goal, along with boy’s coach Mike Williams has been to carry on the traditions Hart set years ago.
“I’ve tried to model how I coach after him,” King said. “I’ve enjoyed being out there with the kids and helping them develop their skills. It’s rewarding to see them be the best they can be.”
Whether it’s sports or grades, King hopes the teens developed a strong work ethic during their time in the program.
“Seeing them succeed is a great thing. A lot of people think track is like other sports, but it’s more individual where you get out of it what you put into it. We don’t look at wins as how successful you are, but how much you’ve improved all year long.”
Although King is looking forward to setting new goals and growing the sports programs at Millennium Charter he admits the decision to leave North Stokes wasn’t an easy one.
“It was tough, but I have a peace about it and I know they’re going to continue having success because Mike (Williams), Ben (Kelble), and Jimmy (Dillard) will still be running it. Mike and I have been doing this since coach Hart left and we’ve seen athletes really excel, and I believe that’s going to continue.”
Amanda Dodson can be reached at 336-813-2426 or on Twitter at AmandaTDodson.