Posts Tagged ‘Randy King’

Randy King is retiring after 42 years as a teacher and coach, the past 29 of those in Coupeville. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Hangin’ out with track stars (l to r) Lauren Bayne, Lauren Grove, and Abby Parker.

UPDATE – 9:30 PM Monday:

School board agenda said “Retirement – Randy King, CHS/CMS Teacher and Coach.”

Latest word from the man himself: “I resigned from teaching, will not be in the classroom next year on a daily basis. Not sure yet about coaching.”



Randy King is bringing an end to a long, successful run as a teacher and coach in Coupeville, and the announcement of his impending retirement got everyone talking.

Now, the Wolf track and field guru, and former boys basketball coach, is having his say.

In his resignation letter he thanked “everyone in the district who has supported me and my family for the last 29 years, beginning with Superintendent Ernie Bartleson, teacher Mark Gale, and Principal Rock White, who brought us here in 1991.

“This has been an incredible experience. No one could possibly expect more support for their teaching, coaching, and family than the King family has received.

“Coupeville has continually worked to provide a caring educational community that has been challenging and innovative.

“The education that our Coupeville students have received has enabled them to go on to be successful in the widest possible array of careers imaginable.

“I have been able to work with amazing teachers, students, athletes, administrators and parents over this career. Thank you everyone for all you have given.”

King followed that up by responding to my (quite possibly) hyperventilating email in his usual calm manner:


Well David, I will be 65 years old this summer!

I’m finishing my 42nd year of teaching high school, 29 years here in Coupeville.

Time to let the young dogs have their say!

First, I’d like to say a big public thank you to my wonderful wife (Laurie), who has been a rock of support and really in a lot of ways made this career possible.

I’ve had a lot of fun working with the students and parents of Coupeville. It has been a great place to teach and coach.

The support that the community has shown to myself and my family has pretty much been like a fairy tale come true!

Not only the community but the staff at our schools have been inspiring to work with from the beginning right up to now!

You can’t imagine how many hours we have spent on those big yellow buses riding safely around the state. Our bus-drivers are some of my heroes!

Hours spent talking with custodians who always left my room with a thought and a sparkle.

Our athletic administration has always helped make this a great place to coach.

Also hats off to all the coaches who assisted me and taught me so much throughout the years.

My students have amazed me with their abilities from the beginning. They can go from Coupeville and be successful anyplace they wish.

The athletes who played ball for me, giving everything they had, and the boys and girls who have worked their tails off in track and field gave me such incredible pride to be associated with, it is hard to describe.

They have given me so much, I hope they were able to feel the pride that I felt in them.

I could say more but us old guys tend to talk too much.

Thanks to you for all you have done to support our student/athletes and my own personal family.

Coach King

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Randy King (left) is retiring after a long teaching/coaching career at Coupeville High School. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

UPDATE – 9:30 PM Monday:

School board agenda said “Retirement – Randy King, CHS/CMS Teacher and Coach.”

Latest word from the man himself: “I resigned from teaching, will not be in the classroom next year on a daily basis. Not sure yet about coaching.”



The longest-tenured coach at Coupeville High School won’t be coming back when Washington state schools reopen.

The agenda for Monday’s school board meeting included one bombshell, as Randy King’s retirement as a teacher and coach was included on it.

King has been a CHS track and field coach since the mid-2000’s, a time period in which Wolf athletes have won 11 of the 17 state meet titles in program history.

State champs he helped produce:

2006 — Jon Chittim (200, 400); Kyle King (3200); boys 4 x 400 (Chris Hutchinson, Chittim, K. King, Steven McDonald)
2007 — K. King (1600, 3200)
2008 — K. King (3200)
2010 — Tyler King (1600, 3200)
2019 — Danny Conlisk (200, 400)

Under Randy King’s tutelage, Coupeville track regularly proved quality could beat quantity, with his teams piling up strong league, district, and state finishes despite often having far fewer athletes than many of its rivals.

The Wolf boys claimed 5th place in the team standings in the last two 1A state meets, while the CHS girls were 9th in 2019.

The high-water mark for CHS track came in 2006 and 2008, when the Wolf boys finished 4th in the team standings.

His girls teams were some of the strongest in school history, and 11 of the 18 Wolf girls track school records came on his watch.

On the boys side, 12 of 17 school records belong to King-coached athletes.

Before he began his run as track guru, King coached the CHS varsity boys basketball program for 20 seasons, ruling the sidelines between 1991-2011.

He led both his 1998 and 2002 squads to Northwest League titles, and coached four of the top 10 scorers in program history.

Mike Bagby (tied for #1 with 1,137 points), Pete Petrov (#7 with 917), current CHS boys hoops coach Brad Sherman (#8 with 874), and Arik Garthwaite (#10 with 867) all called King their coach.

King also pulled a stint as a CHS assistant football coach, and, later in his career, led middle school programs for both boys basketball and volleyball.

The spikers who he taught as young women went on to provide the core of the most-recent CHS volleyball squad to earn a trip to state.

As news of his retirement filtered out to a quarantined Wolf Nation, the response was quick and highly-positive.

“Oh man, that’s rough for sure!,” said Sylvia Hurlburt, a key part of record-setting CHS relay squads. “He’s going to be missed, but he had an amazing run!”

“Thanks Randy for all your hard work and dedication!,” said Wolf mom Dawnelle Conlisk. “Congratulations on your retirement! I agree with Sylvia!”

“You will be missed by sooo many,” said Susan Hulst, whose granddaughter Alana Mihill ran track for King. “We salute you COACH. Wishing you the best on your next adventure.”

That was a sentiment echoed by those who worked with the track guru.

“He will ALWAYS be COACH to me!!!,” said CMS cross country/track coach Elizabeth Bitting. “Congrats and enjoy retirement!!!! You deserve it!!!!!!”

Shawna Kelley has two sons, Brandon and Lathom, who were CHS track stars, and a husband, Lincoln, who coached with King.

Randy, we will miss you dearly,” she said. “We are so blessed to have had you as a teacher, a coach, co-coach, and friend.

“Enjoy your retirement and we’ll see you around the bend.”

While King’s days as a coach and teacher may be coming to an end (unless we can talk him into coming back to coach little league…), that opens up the chance he might have more time to rock the mic from the press box.

Tom Zingarelli, a former longtime coach who operates the clock at many CHS and CMS athletic events, has already put the offer out there.

“One of the best that I have ever been around!!,” he said. “I expect to see you in the booth during sports seasons – it’s warmer and drier up there!”

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Lucy Sandahl glides through a race last spring. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

With Washington state schools closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re offering all Whidbey Island students a chance to be heard and stay connected.

Lucy Sandahl is a senior at Coupeville High School.


These past four years running on the track and field team has impacted me in a way that I will never forget.

A lot of people think of track and field as nearly an activity but never a sport; in reality it is and so much more.

It is a place where people can feel welcomed, a place to learn and grow around people who are supportive, and above all it is a family.

We all suffer through workouts together and we all cheer each other on during our events.

I truly couldn’t have made it through the season without all of my teammates support and for that I will forever be thankful.

I would like to thank every single one of the coaches for supporting me through these long four years.

Coach (Randy) King has always been a joy to be around from our pre-practice meetings to our end of the year pasta feed.

He has truly shaped Coupeville’s track and field team into a family and one that I was proud to be a part of for four years.

Coach Bob (Martin) was always there to help motivate and show us that we had exactly what it took to be the best and how hard we had to work to get there.

Coach (Lincoln) Kelley was always there to toughen me up and tell jokes when he knew that I did not have my best race or practice.

Coach (Neil) Rixe was there through it all.

Going into freshman year I had no idea that I wanted to run distance, but I knew I’d be in safe hands with Coach Rixe.

I may not have always loved the long hard workouts like 10 x 400 repeats or ladders but I knew that he had a plan and he knew what was best.

It saddens me that I couldn’t get another shot around that track but I would love to thank my coaches for being there and pushing me to show that it’s OK not to be the best but you sure as hell have to fight for it.

Along with my coaches I would love to thank my parents through this whole process.

I could never have trained without my dad dragging me out to the Kettles or on the track and I couldn’t have made it through a single race without hearing my mom’s signature whistle while dying on the back stretch.

They have supported me through it all and I could never truly say how much that means to me.

Finally, the last people that I want to reach out and thank are the track moms.

Dawnelle Conlisk, Deb Smith, Maria Reyes, Sherry Roberts, Lisa and Beth Toomey-Stout, Heather Kortuem, and of course Nana.

There was never a meet that went by that they didn’t bring food to try and get us to eat even though we were all too nervous, a time where they weren’t cheering on everyone, or a time where they wouldn’t get me out of my head after I was beating myself up after a bad race.

They were there for every single one of us kids and it truly hurts that I didn’t get to spend one more season with them.

Now that it is all over I will be the first to say that I am in no means the best of the best but no matter the day or how my race went I was always glued to the sidelines of the track screaming and cheering for everyone and that is the thing that I am going to miss the most.

Thank you for these past four years; I’m going to miss it so much.

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Future Wolf hoops stars learn the game in a fun environment during a skills camp. (Photos courtesy Brad Sherman)

Randy King (back, all black shirt) and CHS players teach proper shooting motion.

Scott Fox (hands up) works with older players.

The past, present, and future of Coupeville basketball mingles.

The future Brad Sherman’s of Wolf basketball got to pick up a few lessons from the old-school version.

The Coupeville High School boys basketball coach, and legendary former player, joined up with fellow hoops coaches Thursday and Friday to run a successful skills camp for Coupeville athletes in grades K-8.

The two-day affair drew 75+ basketball players, split between girls and boys.

Sherman was joined by fellow coaches Scott Fox, Chris Smith, Megan Smith, Randy King, Greg White, and Randy Bottorff, as well as current CHS players.

Players were divided into four groups (K-1, 2-3, 4-6, and 7-8) and were offered a great learning opportunity in a fun environment.

As Coupeville coaches build local basketball programs to be strong from top to bottom, the skills camp is a welcome flashback to the sort of events held when Sherman, Megan Smith, and White were young players themselves.

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TJ Rickner lets a shot fly straight and true. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Round-ball sage Randy King (left), still hanging out at the gym where he led the Wolf basketball program for two successful decades.

Senior captain Dane Lucero tosses a free throw towards the rim.

JV coach Chris Smith (gray jacket, left) plots strategy, while varsity head man Brad Sherman (far right) eavesdrops.

Wolf big man Ulrik Wells rolls to the hoop.

Cheerleader Ashleigh Battaglia gets the crowd rockin’.

Logan Martin, who was lights out Tuesday, scoring 19 points, rains down the pain on Sultan.

Freshman Hawthorne Wolfe is off to a hot start, leading Coupeville’s varsity in scoring.

Ball goes up, camera clicks.

As he wanders the byways and highways of America, photographer John Fisken is drawn to the lights and sounds emanating from gyms across the land.

His latest stop came in Coupeville Tuesday, when he was on hand to snap away as the Wolves faced off with Sultan in their North Sound Conference opener.

To see everything Fisken shot (and maybe buy Grandma a Christmas present), pop over to:


And, remember, a percentage of all purchases goes to fund scholarships for CHS senior student/athletes.

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