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After a stellar career at Virginia, Jared King is taking over the Pulaski County baseball team.
Courtesy of UVa
A former Pulaski County baseball star, Jared King started 202 games in four season for Virginia.
UVa | File May
Virginia first baseman Jared King (right) and third baseman Kenny Towns celebrate after beating Army in the NCAAs.
The Roanoke Times | File 2011
Jared King was a two-sport star at Pulaski County before playing baseball for four years at Virginia.
Tuesday, July 30, 2013
Jared King was a senior star for Pulaski County’s baseball program the last time the Cougars enjoyed a winning season.
Now it is King’s job to try to produce another one.
King, 23, has been hired as the head baseball coach at Pulaski County High School, less than two months after his college career ended at Virginia.
King started 202 games in four seasons at UVa, which ranks him 10th all-time in school history. He started 118 games at first base in his junior and senior seasons combined, and he started 42 games in 2011 when Virginia reached the College World Series.
King, who will be formally introduced in a news conference Wednesday at the high school, hopes his status as a former college star will help elevate the Pulaski program.
“I think it serves as an example,” King said. “The game can provide you with more opportunities than you ever thought you would have had. It’s something that didn’t occur to me until after it happened.”
King played under head coach Brian O’Connor at UVa, and the new Pulaski coach plans to bring along what he learned from the Cavaliers’ staff and apply it to the prep level.
“I’ve picked up more than I’d have time to tell you,” King said. “Those guys are the best in the business. I’ve got so many things from those guys that I’m sure I’ll be able to use.
“I’m excited. I feel like I’ve got a lot of experiences to bring back. I think it will be great.”
Pulaski County won just four River Ridge District baseball games in the five seasons since King graduated in 2008 after making first-team All-Timesland in baseball and basketball.
The Cougars won two postseason games and qualified for the Region IV tournament in 2011.
When postseason play begins next spring, Pulaski County will be a member of Conference 24 along with Salem, Carroll County, William Fleming, Bassett, Jefferson Forest, George Washington and E.C. Glass.
King succeeds Doug Dunavant at Pulaski County.
King, who has a masters degree in education from UVa, also landed a fulltime position as a physical education teacher at Pulaski.
“I’ve got plenty of friends that are 23 and can’t find a job right now,” he said. “When this opportunity came up, I definitely wanted to take it.
“I felt like eventually I would come back and do it. I worked out perfectly with those two jobs coming open and I just graduated.”
King becomes a second-generation head coach at Pulaski.
His mother, Brenda King, coached girls basketball for the Cougars from 2006-08 before taking over the program at Hidden Valley. Brenda King died of cancer in 2008 before she could coach a game for the Titans.
King’s sister, Kelly, graduated this spring from Hidden Valley after growing up in Pulaski County.
King said when he enters the school this fall, he won’t feel like a kid anymore.
“No question,” he said, “My sister knew a lot of people that just graduated from Pulaski. Now that that whole cycle is gone, I don’t know that many of the kids.”
King said he is uncertain about who will serve as his assistant coaches.
He said his first priorities are basic, including finding a place to live in the New River Valley.
“Probably just figuring out inventory, what we’ve got, what kids we’ve got coming back,” King said. “See what needs work immediately and go from there.”
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