We recently lost a Montgomery County coaching legend.
Former Bullis head football coach Walt King died on April 2 at a Pennsylvania nursing home after suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. He was 77.
He is survived by three children, Kevin A. King, Rachel J. Linder and Natalie A. Hagle, and seven grandchildren, Courtney, Ashley, Megan, Kyler, Karley, Zachary and Melanie, and one great-grandson, Tanner.
King spent more than three decades at Bullis where he compiled a career record of 116-91-5 on the gridiron. In 1979, he led the Bulldogs to their first IAC co-championship. After serving as the head coach from 1976-1986, he had a brief stint as the school’s athletic director from 1979-1994. He assumed his role as head coach in 1992 and guided the Potomac private school to an undefeated season in 2000, a feat that helped King earn Montgomery County Coach of the Year honors.
“I just remember what a legend he was,” recalled Stan Gelbaugh, a former Bullis assistant under King. “He was at Bullis for a very long time and really left his mark as a coach and teacher on a lot of kids.”
In 2009, King was inducted into the Maryland State Football Hall of Fame. In addition to his coaching duties, King was also chair of the math department and a math teacher in the Upper School. He was named “Teacher of the Year” by the Bullis Parents’ Association in 2000.
King, who was enshrined in the Bullis Athletic Hall of Fame in 2009, touched and influenced many student-athletes during his life.
Darnell “Sporty” Evans, a 1997 Bullis graduate who played college football at Towson, said King served as a mentor and father figure in his life.
“He would do a lot of little things that my mom and my family couldn’t do,” said Evans.
King even coached a handful of players at Bullis who moved onto greener pastures in the NFL including Moise Fokou, Tanard Jackson and Joe Lefeged.
During a 2012 preseason game between the Washington Redskins and Indianapolis Colts at FedEx Field, King along with Evans and former Bullis assistant Dan Rascher, watched Fokou, Jackson and Lefeged all compete on the gridiron together.
Jackson, a safety, played for the Redskins while Fokou, a linebacker, and Lefeged, a safety, were members of the Colts that season.
“That’s a night I won’t forget,” said Evans, “Three Bullis graduates playing in the NFL at the same time.”
Bullis produced various NCAA Division I college prospects on King’s watch including Rodney Thomas (Harvard), Serge Tikum (Massachusetts), Marcus Dorsey (Central Connecticut State), Ike Sanni (Richmond), Kareem Licorish (Pennsylvania) and Rashad Woodard (Delaware).
Evans recalled the times King paid him a visit to watch his college games at Towson.
“We played Lehigh every year,” said Evans. “He would take time out of his schedule to make those games.”
Evans went into coaching after graduating from Bullis and spent three years at his high school alma mater under King’s tutelage.
“I’m forever grateful for him and I think about him every day,” said Evans.