Rams name alumnus as ninth head coach

HAVELOCK | Caleb King dreamed about this moment since he was 15 years old.

He played football and graduated from Havelock High in 2002, then was an assistant coach for the Rams from 2007-2014.

Now, he’s the head coach of his alma mater.

King was announced as Havelock’s ninth head football coach at a ceremony Thursday afternoon in the Havelock Performing Arts Center.

“This means the world to me. This is my home,” King said. “That’s something I don’t get to say often. This is my family’s home, this is where they are going to go to school and this is where they were born.”

Havelock High Principal Jeffrey Murphy, Athletics Director Mitch Williams and Assistant Coach Tony Wray were among a group that interviewed three candidates.

More than 40 resumes were submitted.

Superintendent Meghan Doyle endorsed King as head coach and recommended his name to the Craven County Board of Education.

“This is a special place, with special people,” King said. “These coaches that are standing behind me, they are so important in what we do. They are great men, great husbands and great fathers.

“These kids are special and important to me because I know where they are sitting at because I was sitting there one day.”

King spent the past two seasons as head coach at East Carteret where the Mariners posted a 23-5 record in that span and made it to the third round of the playoffs both seasons.

Wednesday, King broke the news to his East Carteret players.

He will start at Havelock on Monday and begin with his new group in the weight room on Tuesday.

“Being here at this place, at this time, that’s important to me. This is my home,” King said. “It was hard and yesterday (Wednesday) was a difficult day for me telling the kids at East.

“This is a job that I had to be at.”

Prior to his two-year stint at East Carteret, King was Havelock’s defensive coordinator and associate head coach under Jim Bob Bryant who recently departed for Freedom High School in Morganton.

Together, they helped coach the Rams to three state championships from 2011-13 and a record of 93-13.

King played offensive line and defensive line at Havelock under Wilbur Sasser and coached a year under Charlie Smith in 2007.

“That’s why you take this job, it’s because you want those high expectations,” King said. “You want to be in a place where you expect to win and they want to win. This is a place that I want to be and I am ready to fulfill those expectations.

“They have big shoes to fill here but I have big feet.”

King said he met his wife Jenna in the cafeteria at Havelock High 19 years ago. They have two kids, son Caden and daughter Scarlett.

King has been known to assist in the recruiting efforts of many of his former players.

He said he will do what he can to help his players achieve their goals.

“We are going to do everything in our power to help these kids achieve their goals and their dreams. Our whole focus here is going to be a process,” King said. “The expectations couldn’t be any higher and that’s where we wanted them to be. We will build better character, one that this community can be proud of. We will help our student-athletes achieve their highest potential.

“We will win championships and we will do it with class and integrity.”

 

Adam Thompson is the Sports Editor at the Sun Journal. He can be contacted at 252-635-5669. Follow Adam on Twitter @A_ThompsonNBSJ