May 11, 2018 11:19:17 AM
The contents of this article have been modified since its original posting.
The lead candidate for Caledonia High School's head football coaching vacancy has pending misdemeanor charges in D'Iberville of careless driving and refusing to take a test for driving under the influence.
Lowndes County School Board's meeting agenda for Friday includes a recommendation to hire David King, 44, who now serves as assistant high school football coach and driver's education teacher at Biloxi High School.
D'Iberville police arrested King at 3:40 a.m. March 2, when the coach refused to take a DUI test during a traffic stop for careless driving off Interstate 110, according a report from the Biloxi Sun Herald.
A clerk for D'Iberville Municipal Court told The Dispatch Thursday that King pleaded not guilty to the charges, and a trial date has been set for May 22.
LCSD Superintendent Lynn Wright said he was made aware of King's charges late Wednesday, and he is still trying to gather information. He believes the school board will likely discuss the charges during executive session Friday. The meeting's public session begins at 12:30 p.m.
Wright said school district candidates undergo fingerprinting and background checks only after the board approves offering them a contract. In King's case, though, since his charges are misdemeanors that have not yet been adjudicated, Wright said even a background check would not eliminate him from consideration.
"Contracts are offered on the premise there are no felonies," he said. "Misdemeanors would not necessarily disqualify a candidate."
King is still employed with Biloxi High School, a Biloxi School District personnel officer confirmed. He's previously served assistant coaching stints with Hancock County and West Point high schools.
He did not return calls or messages from The Dispatch by press time.
Caledonia High School principal Andy Stevens has recommended King for the head coaching position, and he believes the board should hire him.
"I have screwed up in the past and I am probably going to screw up today. It shouldn't keep somebody from getting a job," Stevens told The Dispatch. "If what he was accused of was a monthly ordeal, I would have a problem with it and not recommended him for (the job as Caledonia High football coach). ... I think he is catching the shaft.
"If he were in the driver's education car (and had been accused of DUI) that would be different, in my opinion," he later added. "If he had three or four DUIs, that would be different. He has not had one. He has only been accused."
King would replace Tim Nickens, who abruptly resigned on May 1. Nickens, who spent 2017 as defensive coordinator at New Hope, was hired at Caledonia in March to replace Ricky Kendrick, who resigned after the 2017 season.
Nickens worked with the team through about half of spring practice before calling it quits and never publicly gave a reason for his resignation.
Caledonia has had four head football coaches -- two for two stints -- in the last 11 seasons. The 2018 season will mark the third-straight year the program will have a new coach.
Nickens' replacement will be the sixth person to lead the program since David Boykin was the head coach in 2007.
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