June 9, 2018 10:00:41 PM
Lowndes County School District Board of Trustees voted in a split decision Friday not to hire a man facing misdemeanor charges in D'Iberville as head football coach at Caledonia High School.
David King, 44, who was the lead candidate for the position, faces charges of careless driving and refusing to submit to a test for driving under the influence. Board members voted not to hire him at the end of a one-hour executive session.
LCSD board president Brian Clark said the votes would be released with the minutes for the next LCSD meeting but would not release the board's voting count.
King has worked as assistant football coach and driver's education instructor at Biloxi High School for the last three years. D'Iberville police arrested him at 3:40 a.m. on March 2, when the coach refused to take a DUI test during a traffic stop off Interstate 110, according to a report from The Biloxi Sun Herald.
King has pleaded not guilty to the charges. LCSD board members previously delayed voting on his hire pending his court date at D'Iberville Municipal Court, but went ahead with the vote Friday after King's court date was continued from May 22 to July 31.
LCSD Superintendent Lynn Wright called King's circumstances "unfortunate" but wished the coach the best.
"The board was acting very responsible in trying to put the welfare of those students first," Wright said. "It's unfortunate, we wish everything had been settled, but we cannot wait. We have to have a coach."
Wright said several other candidates have been interviewed and anticipates a final decision for CHS coach within the next few weeks.
CHS principal Andy Stevens, who has supported King's candidacy, said he's not sure what to do next. He said the school board next meets July 13, which is 17 days before the start of football practice for the 2018 season.
"I have a couple of guys I am going to call, but after this they might not want to fool with it," Stevens said.
Stevens said he was disappointed with the board's vote.
"Caledonia is not a football mecca," Stevens said. "We had a good coach lined up but it didn't work out. Somebody is going to get a darned good coach, someone who is going to give him a second chance."
Had he been hired, King would have replaced former CHS football coach 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.
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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