Teacher Spotlight: Coach King

By Lacey Phillips and John Stephenson
September 22, 2005

Stephen King was born in Birmingham, Alabama on January 9, 1951. He was a graduate from the very first graduating class of Gardendale High School in 1968 where he played football and basketball. After he graduated, he went to Jefferson State for two years, Montevallo for a single semester, and then UAB for three and a half years. Coach King has an AA degree, otherwise known as an Educational Specialist degree, which is the degree right below a doctorate degree. Coach King lives here in Locust Fork on his cattle farm with Sandy, his wife of twenty years. He has three sons, the oldest Brett, 27, then Zeb, 26, and the youngest, Seth, 25.

Coach King’s most memorable high school moment was when he was in the eleventh grade and he played in the first ever football game at the Rocket Stadium at Gardendale. The team had no seniors because they were adding a new grade to the school every year. The game was against Mortimer Jordan and Coach King played linebacker. Interestingly, the quarterback for Mortimer Jordan, Billy Bob Sanders, later on became his assistant coach here at Locust Fork.

One of Locust Fork’s most beloved teachers began working here in 1972. He teaches math and coached basketball for eight years and football for nine. He won football county championships in three out of four years in ’76, ’77, and ’79.

Coach King’s most memorable moment coaching was the basketball game between Locust Fork and Hayden at the Christmas Tournament Championship in the seventies. During the fourth over-time, the Hornets were down to three substitutes against Hayden’s original five starters. Despite the “hometown” referees favoring Hayden, the Hornets prevailed and won the championship.

Coach King claims his favorite thing about teaching is June, July, and August. Throughout the summer he works on his cattle farm of mostly Black Angus cows and his real estate, which he’s been doing for twenty-five years. If Coach King were to describe himself, he would say that he is a “man of few words”.