Finishing Strong – Memories and Musings with Coach Dennis King

Paul Ward

When Coach Dennis King came to Brentwood High School in 1984 to lead the boys basketball program, things were very different. The school was only two years old and there was still controversy over splitting from Franklin High School.

Coach King remembers the rivalry with Franklin and looks back with great memories of building his program during a time when many families still wanted their boys at the “other school.” In talking about rivalry, even though Brentwood has added Ravenwood High School to the district, King admits that even this rivalry is no comparison to the games against Franklin for many years.

Then there is Coach King’s family; “For my four children Brentwood High is such a big part of our lives. My four kids grew up in the gym – it was a fairy castle to explore and connect with the teams,” shared King. While his four children are grown and spread across the country now, the memories his three daughters and one son have will continue to be some of the best memories they have.

For a man who built his professional career around his passion for coaching high school basketball, King leaves celebrating the relationships with the generations of teams he coached along the way.

“My greatest engagement was playing the chess game that unfolded every Friday night and the preparations for varsity level play. I’m going into retirement with a leap of faith and will build my wings on the way,” King explained.

He went on to say about his experience at Brentwood High School, “I believe in BHS and consider it the best public school in the country. When I talk to other coaches and share my experience both on the court and in my English classroom, the families have all been the greatest and believe in education, sparing no pain in pushing their students to success. What an incredible opportunity it has been.”

In sharing memories of this past season King describes the entire experience as “Special.”

“When a team over reaches, over expects and puts a lot of pressure on talented kids that many never thought would end up playing for the State Championship, these kids believed in themselves and were committed.”

On Monday night Coach King never imagined the power of social media. At 5:00 p.m. he made his announcement and was “stunned” how quickly word got out.

“I was amazed how fast news spread. What pleased me the most was that ever era I had coached called me to congratulate and wish me well. I think all along my players and their families knew that I cared about the kids.

For now, Coach King will continue teaching English part time. His long term plan is to return to the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area he grew up in.

Congratulations Coach King, you finished the game strong. More Sports