King retires as boys golf coach at West Forsyth

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 20, 2024

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By Jay Spivey

For the Clemmons Courier

Kevin King has seen his last birdie as a high school golf coach. 

King, who has been the boys golf coach at West Forsyth for the past four seasons, has announced that he’s retiring as both a coach and a history teacher.  

“I’m just ready to do something else,” King said. “I think it ultimately felt like a good time to do it. I just got to a point where I just want to try something else and see what else is out there.” 

Now at 54 years old, it works with King’s family. His eldest daughter, Peyton, is 24, and his other daughter, Mary-Paige, who played golf at West Forsyth and is now playing collegiately at Catawba, is 19. 

“It probably didn’t hurt,” King said. “My oldest daughter is living at home, working full-time. It will give me a chance to go see Mary-Paige play, you know, three or four weekends in the fall and three or four weekends in the spring. But we did that this year. And that was one of the things I missed. I missed probably three matches during the golf season going to watch her play.  

“I really didn’t think that was fair to the kids, but at the same time I wasn’t willing to not watch her play.” 

The announcement by King to retire didn’t come as much of a surprise to Mike Pennington, the athletic director at West Forsyth. 

“We knew it was coming,” Pennington said. “He was getting at that point.” 

It’s not Pennington’s first rodeo with coaches leaving. 

“It’s always hard replacing a good coach, but you’ve got more time to plan ahead and kind of think along those lines what you’re going to do to replace him,” Pennington said. “It’s always hard to replace good people.” 

King replaced Jimmy McMullen, who is a PGA Golf Professional and coach at The Golf Academy at Salem Glen in Clemmons.  

“Originally, I was going to be Jimmy’s assistant,” King said. “It was going to be the year they were going to have to do boys and girls the same time because of COVID. Both of them were going to have to play in the spring. And I was going to help Jimmy just do whatever he needed because he was going to be coaching girls and boys.”

King was also the head boys basketball coach at West Forsyth at the time. He was the head boys basketball coach for three seasons before retiring after the 2021-22 season, replaced by Marlon Brim. 

“Well, Jimmy’s teaching business exploded during COVID,” King said. “And like two weeks after me and Jimmy worked out that I was going to help him, Jimmy’s like, ‘I’m doing so much just teaching.’  

“So, then Pennington and talked again, and he said, ‘You take one team and find somebody to coach the other team and do it that way.’ I said, ‘OK.’ So, I found Bill Walwik, who taught with me, and it worked out easier for me to do the boys and him to do the girls because you can have two coaches. And then, basically I was just with Mary-Paige all the way during the match.” 

It was an easy decision for Pennington, who previously coached golf at Parkland and West Forsyth, to help hire King as the golf coach. 

“That was a no-brainer because No. 1, he’s a really good player,” Pennington said. “And he’s coached at other places. We used to coach against each other when he was at Reagan and North Davidson, and I was at Parkland and West. I’ve played golf with Kevin. I’ve known him as a teacher and as a basketball coach, you know, so, yeah, that was a no-brainer. He’s done a good job” 

It turns out that King’s last day as the boys golf coach for the Titans was May 14 at Pinehurst No. 9 in the second and final round of the NCHSAA Class 4-A championship, watching senior Hershal Patel card a two-round total of 151 to finish tied for 30th. 

“It was a long day,” King said. “His original tee time was like 9 o’clock and he didn’t tee off until almost 12 because of the rain. They had to stop playing in the morning because it rained so hard and then he got about 13 or 14 holes in, and it started to pour again and so they had another two-hour rain delay. So, he had to go inside another two hours.” 

Both King and Patel talked shop during the delays. 

“He was there ready to tee off at 9 o’clock and he finished up at like 7,” King said. “But the neat part was we sat together during a rain delay and just talked. And we probably had the same conversation two or three different times.” 

Pennington and Kevin Spainhour, the principal at West Forsyth, knew the boys golf team was in good hands with King. 

“He’s done it for years and he’s played golf and played tournament golf, so you want people whatever sport that you like to have people anyway that love the sport and that love coaching,” Pennington said. “You know he loves coaching because he’s done it so long with basketball and golf, too.  

“So, you want people that love coaching, but you want people that love the sport too, and he obviously does. I mean his daughter’s a really good player at Catawba, so, you know, he plays all the time. So, you know, the feeds down to the kids because they see the coach’s love for the game, and obviously for Kevin it was there.” 

Although King is retiring as a teacher and coach nothing is cemented in his future plans. 

“I have talked to some people at the golf course (Salem Glen) about working out there some,” King said. “I don’t want to sit still, but I also know that I can’t play golf every day. Like, mentally or physically, I wouldn’t want to have to play more than four days a week. 

“So, in a perfect world I could do something where I could work outside, work around the golf course a little bit and then play mornings or afternoons, whatever. Something like that is what I’m leaning.”