HAVELOCK – The time back home at Havelock High School for Caleb King has come to an end after just two years.
Wednesday afternoon, King broke the news with the Sun Journal that he is taking a head coach position in South Carolina.
“It was an opportunity that doesn’t come around very often and an opportunity for me to take even better care of my family,” King said of the move.
“It was incredibly hard because I love this town, love this school and love these players.”
On the football field, King’s success is evidenced in his teams’ records.
In four years as a head coach (two at Havelock and two at East Carteret), King amassed a record of 50-8.
He guided Havelock to a state runner-up finish in 2017 and it lost this past season to Jacksonville in the Eastern Regional final.
The move creates an attractive opening at Havelock High.
With one of the state’s premier football traditions, coaching candidates’ applications that come across Havelock principal Dr. Jeff Murphy’s desk could be as plentiful as armadillos in Texas.
King has been a coach at Havelock in some capacity for eight of the past 10 years.
Over that span since 2009, football teams at Havelock have gone 137-15 with three state championships, two state runner-ups and have played in nine out of 10 Eastern finals.
“Looking back on it all, it’s been an incredible run but honestly what I am most proud of are the relationships I’ve built,” King said.
“Guys that played for me ask me to be at their weddings and things like that – that’s the stuff that matters most.”
Two years ago when then-head coach Jim Bob Bryant left Havelock for Freedom High School in Morganton, the choice was rather easy for Murphy to call upon King.
This coaching search could be much different this time for Murphy.
King said he thinks that Havelock will roll on in the future.
“Havelock is going to continue to win a lot of football games,” King said.
“The coaching staff that has been with me, those guys are great coaches and they are best friends of mine. I told my players that ‘sometimes in life, you have to make tough choices and that, maybe they don’t understand it right now but hopefully they will when they are older.”