End of the Line For Paden City’s Fred King
PADEN CITY – Fred King is the epitome of hard-working.
The 64-year-old has served as a teacher for 42 years, including 16 at Paden City, where he was named athletics director and the boys’ head basketball coach in 2001 and the volleyball coach in 2004.
King has taught young students and athletes more than just health and physical education in the classroom or Xs and Os on the courts, but he has instilled life-lessons in the minds of every Wildcat that has entered the doors of Paden City High School. After a memorable 16 years at the school he loves, King is retiring from teaching and from coaching basketball.
He will remain the athletics director and volleyball coach for the time being, but it was the right time for King to walk away the only way he wanted to – happily.
“I love my job, my students, my players, my school and my community,” King said. “It is nice to go out when you are happy about things and I am going out on a positive note. I still have the energy and the passion but I want to retire at the top of my game.”
King’s final basketball game was one to remember as the Wildcats fell to Magnolia by one point in the sectional semifinal.
“I am pleased with my last season here at Paden City,” King said. “We have accomplished so much and I couldn’t have asked my kids for anything better. It’s the right time to take off into the sunset.
“Leaving now leaves the next coach at least two seasons with the players and gives him a running start. I had fun with it.”
King’s first basketball coaching job came at Sistersville and in his first game in 1983, his squad won 52-50 over his alma mater, Frontier. It was only fitting that his last regular-season game on senior night at Paden City was a 52-40 victory against Frontier.
“It just came full circle,” King said. “It’s funny how things are like that.”
One area in which King left his mark in Paden City athletics was behind the scenes in practice.
“I still have the passion and love of the game,” King said. “I’m going to miss practice. I tried to bring something new to practice each day to make sure we brought in new wrinkles to the offense and defense. I loved watching the kids receive it. They never questioned me and they believed in what we were doing. We only graduate 25-30 kids a year but we still compete with the best of them.
“You don’t have to be a big school to make it special for the kids. It’s always for the kids.”
Throughout his stellar career at Paden City, King also spent time as the assistant girls’ track coach, assistant baseball coach and girls’ basketball coach, but has always had the support and love of his family and he is excited to spend more time with his loved ones.
“I want to thank my wonderful wife, Debbie, who has been dedicated to me and my career,” King said. “It takes a strong person to support what I have done and I want to thank her for always being there when I needed her.
“My children, Michael and Brittany, graduated at Paden City and this school has always been good to my children. It has been nice to give back to Paden City for what they have done for my children.”
His son, Michael, was an all-state basketball and baseball player for the Wildcats and now works for Centurion Medical Products in Morgantown.
“My son’s daughter, Khloe, is 6 years old and I might want to watch her and spend time with my son and I don’t want to miss that.”
His daughter, Brittany, was also an all-state athlete at Paden City in basketball and volleyball and works as a Physician’s Assistant in Canton, Ohio.
“I am blessed to have been married for 37 years this June and to have two children. They remarked to me the No. 1 reason why they are where they are is because of loyalty, hard work and dedication in athletics. Those were life lessons learned from my wife and myself and they now have excellent jobs because of it.”
King’s strong work ethic that he passed down to his children comes from his parents. His father, the late Lowell F. King Sr. and his mother, Sylvia.
“I want to thank my parents,” King said. “They were strict but very loving and I had a great upbringing.
“They lived through the depression and taught me hard work and as a result, I have gained a strong work ethic to do it all.”
King has earned respect from everyone in the community, his assistant coaches and most of all, his players.
“Graduates have come back to see me and the comradery between players and coach is very rewarding. I am the luckiest man in the world for the kids I have gotten to coach. A coach is only as good as his players.
“Looking back I have had a lot of great support from my assistant coach Jeff Bowers. He is very committed, loyal, dedicated and a very good basketball coach and I thank him. I also want to thank Trey Meeks, Wetzel County, the Board of Education, the parents who support what we do here, good administration and my family.”