An era ended for Spartan football Oct. 17 as Steve King announced his resignation as head football coach at Minnesota State Community and Technical College.
King, head coach since 2007, has been involved with the program for nearly 27 years, since he played for the Spartans during the 1983 and 1984 seasons following his high school football career in Eagle Bend. He will continue as an instructor and athletic director at M State in Fergus Falls and as coach of the Spartan softball team.
“It has been a privilege and an honor to be involved with the Spartan football program for as long as I have,” King said. “It’s been a difficult decision, but I just know it’s time to step away from football. We didn’t win as many games as I would have liked, but I believe we ran a class program that is well-respected around the state.”
His teams compiled a record of 28 wins and 59 losses during his tenure as head coach. He was named Minnesota College Athletic Conference Coach of the Year in 2010 and 2014, and the Spartans advanced to the MCAC semifinals in 2014.
King began his coaching career as the Spartans’ defensive line coach in 1985 and the next year was named defensive coordinator, a position he held until 2005 with breaks in 1992 while he completed his master’s degree and from 1994 to 1998 when he was defensive coordinator at the University of Minnesota Crookston. In 2006 he was head football coach at Itasca Community College.
King recalls that, when he was named M State’s head coach in 2007, Fergus Falls campus maintenance director Harry Phillips told him “it’s not how many games you win, but how many men you turn out.”
“That has always stuck with me, and I believe we have turned out some very good men,” King said. “I will be staying at the college and plan to turn my energy in a different direction that will continue to help the football program and all our student athletes.”
“Coach King has been a mainstay of our football program for years,” said M State Dean of Academics Gary Henrickson. “He has recruited and developed teams which we have been proud to have associated with M State. We will miss him on the football field, but we are pleased that he will be continuing to advance athletics programs for the college.”