King leaves Montevallo

Published 4:36 pm Friday, May 22, 2009

The annual coaching carousel is still in action, as Montevallo High School head football coach Jim King has resigned to coach wide receivers at Mountain Brook. King will fill the vacancy left by new Oak Mountain head coach Jeff Harris.

King, who has coached receivers most of his career, knew about the position when Harris left Mountain Brook, but he said he did not entertain the thought until he was offered the job during the final week of spring practice. After taking the weekend to think about the opportunity, King told his team May 19 that he was leaving. He started working with the Mountain Brook team that night.

“Leaving these seven seniors was the hardest professional decision I’ve ever had to make. It was gut-wrenching,” King said. “I just feel so much that I’ve let them down, and I hope one day they will understand. I love every one of them.”

King said the decision had nothing to do with anything at Montevallo, but that he made the best decision for his family.

In April, King resigned from his role as athletic director, taking a decrease in pay, because he wanted to focus more time on football.

“I wanted to totally and completely focus on football. I wanted to put all my attention toward this and give my kids the best I could give,” King said.

He said the Bulldogs finished the spring strong, scoring seven points in a spring game at Verbena May 15 and 28 in another game against Billingsley the same night.

The spring practice added to the tough decision for King, because he thinks he’s leaving behind the best team he’s had in his six years as head coach.

“Montevallo is an amazing place, and they’re going to get a great coach. Those guys are going to be good next year. They’re going to be successful. They’ll have the best team on record at the school,” said King, who posted a 30-31 record as head coach.

He previously coached five years as an assistant at Montevallo and four years as an assistant at Midfield.

Montevallo athletic director Brent McCaleb said he’s been impressed by how the team is handling the situation.

“The seniors have stepped up and done a good job leading the rest of the guys on how to handle the situation,” McCaleb said. “I hate it for the kids, because Jim worked hard to always put the kids first. He was great to work for and great to work with.”

McCaleb said the coaching staff will work together to conduct workouts until a new head coach can be named.

He said a hire will not take place until after Montevallo receives a new principal. Principal Judy Simmons is retiring.

This is the sixth coaching change among Shelby County football teams this season, as Calera, Coosa Valley, Kingwood Christian, Montevallo, Oak Mountain and Shelby Academy will each have new coaches in the fall.

Also leaving a Shelby County-area school to coach at Mountain Brook is former Spain Park assistant Shane Stearns, who was hired earlier this spring to coach the Spartans’ defensive line.