NP Football Coach-King

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 20, 2012

North Panola athletic director Krystal Stewart (left) introduces new football coach Derek King. The Panolian photo by Myra Bean

King takes reigns of NP football program

By Myra Bean

In a move hoping to build and add more stability in the sports program, Derek King was approved as the new head football coach at North Panola under conservatorship Monday night at the school board meeting, announce principal Jamone Edwards.

Edwards immediately said that last year’s first year coach Robert Hunter was not fired but willingly gave up the position.

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“Coach Hunter said in a  recent conversation that he may want to move on,” Edwards said. “In January he said if we found someone we would be interested in hiring, he thought that would be a good idea.  He would like to stay on and work with him.”

King, 23, is the third coach for North Panola in three years, which demanded the question of stability in the football program.

King comes to North Panola from Coldwater where he is the special teams coordinator for the middle school football, assistant baseball coach and track coach. He also head coached track at Byhalia Middle School and was offensive coordinator for middle school football.

He is originally from Fairfield, Ala., near Birmingham and was recruited by Rhodes College in Memphis where he played football and baseball. On the football team, he was wide receiver and kickoff return man.

At Rhodes, King majored in psychology and minored in African American studies. He received his masters degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of Mississippi.

He brings with him a philosophy of discipline and working hard.

“We have talent,” King said. “I have coached against them. I think more or less there has to be discipline. Any system you put them in, they will respond accordingly. If you have a lax system, they will do lax things. If you have a very stringent system they will adhere to it. Admittedly, what I want to do may have to be amended based on the kids like when I teach. Even so I know when I get a system in place, they can get into the system, learn and grow, be productive especially with the teams in our league. We can compete with them.”

At the end of his letter to parents, King wrote, “Don’t get outworked.”
One of the changes, Edwards has already initiated is getting the football team into summer camps which they have not attended in five or six years. Three camps have been scheduled, one at Mississippi State University.

“The best university in the world,” Edwards said, laughing to the groans of Ole Miss alumni and fans in the room.  “Coach King and I spoke about our kids who don’t get a lot of position work. The quarterbacks are going to a camp also.”

Assistant coaches

Remaining on the Cougar coaching staff are offensive coordinator Vaughn Daniels and Timothy Krautkramer. North Panola is bringing Denver Wade, who is currently coaching football in Italy right now, as the defensive coordinator. One more person who will join the staff is Dennis Stuckey who currently works at Greenhill Elementary.

Until all the coaches get to the school, some volunteer coaches will be helping during the spring, according to King.

Spring practice begins Monday. The spring game will be held at North Panola as its hosts Holly Springs and Madison-Ridgeland Academy.

“We are excited about the direction athletics is going,” Edwards said.

Some other changes expected for the football program are two 25-second clocks and some air conditioning for the fieldhouse, according to Edwards.