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King to remain Valley/Old Lyme head football coach

Tim King will remain head coach of the Valley Regional/Old Lyme football co-op after Regional School District No. 4 announced Monday night that it had rescinded its request that he resign via a press release signed by both Brian J. White, the Superintendent of Region 4 Schools, and King.

King declined to comment when reached Monday night.

Players and parents told The Day last Friday that the district informed King last Friday that he could either resign or be fired over his alleged involvement with the War Cats, an independent club football team that was formed with players from the Valley/Old Lyme co-op and Waterford.

Region 4 is made up of the towns of Chester, Deep River and Essex. Valley Regional controls the co-op.

“Through discussion, we have come to an understanding about the extent of the coach’s involvement in an independent team of Region 4 football players,” the release said. “Coach King does understand as a role model, the concerns about community perception regarding his involvement with this team.

“We both understand and accept that as educators and professionals we have a special responsibility to our students, staff and community during a pandemic and that we must place safety above all else. It is in this spirit, that the request for Coach King to resign from the position of head football coach has been rescinded.”

The War Cats club team was formed so that could participate in high school football games independent of the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference. The CIAC canceled the football season in September because of the COVID-19 pandemic and at the urging of the state Department of Health.

District 4 made it known that King could not coach the program. Bobby Narducci, one of King's former assistants, was the War Cats' head coach.

King referred to himself as the team’s “general manager” in a Day story last month about independent league football but said that he couldn’t coach it. He credited Casey Metz, a parent of two players who had formed the team, as “the backbone to the whole program.”

Parents and players from Valley/Old Lyme told The Day that King’s “general manager” comment was being used against him by the District.

“I put the team together," Metz told The Day last Friday. “I really had no contact with (King) about forming (the team). I did the uniforms on our own though Stadium System. We got the equipment through Stadium System. It was delivered to my house and I handed it out. I collected the registration fees. I ran the team.”

There was an outcry from the Valley/Old Lyme community as well as fellow coaches that King was being told to resign. Players started a petition to support King at charge.org that had 2,884 signatures as of Monday night.

King has been the Warriors' head coach the past 22 seasons. He coached them to their only CIAC state championship in 2014 and is also a physical education teacher and boys’ outdoor track and field coach at Valley.

n.griffen@theday.com

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