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Ken King, Granby’s first athletic director and coach, dies at age 94

The gym at Granby Memorial High was named in honor of Ken King, shown in June 1986. King, the first athletic director, basketball coach and baseball coach at Granby, died earlier this month at the age of 94. (Mary Clark/Farmington Valley Herald)

Kenneth L, King, the first athletic director at Granby Memorial High School, died earlier this month (August 17) at the age of 94. King spent 35 years as an athletic director, teacher and coach in the Granby school system before retiring in 1987.

King grew up in Canton, graduated from Canton High and lived in Canton his entire life. But he also was a giant influence in the Granby community. He started teaching in Granby in 1952 after graduating from Springfield College.

When Granby, who once sent their students to Simsbury, opened their own high school in 1956, King moved up to the high school. He was the school’s first basketball and baseball coach. He was the second varsity soccer coach for the Bears.

He coached basketball from 1957 to 1976, soccer until 1973 and baseball until 1961. He finally gave up his coaching because he couldn’t coach and be an athletic director at the same time.

“There’s no way you can do both jobs and do all the things you’re supposed to do,” King said in a June 1986 interview with this writer for the Farmington Valley Herald, a weekly newspaper out of Simsbury. “I’m not really here to win friends influence or become popular.

“I just treat people the way I would want to be treated and expect people to do the same,” he said. “I have one set of rules and they apply to everyone.”

Bill Stacey, Sr., a former soccer and baseball coach at Granby, said in 1986, “He was the same as a coach as he is an athletic director. He’s very organized and very intense. He stressed character building and fundamentals.”

The high school gym was named in King’s honor in 1986. In 1985, he was honored with a Distinguished Service Award from the Connecticut Association of Athletic Directors and was named Athletic Director of the Year by the Connecticut Physical Education, Health, Recreation and Dance group.

At the June 1986 dedication of the Granby Memorial gym in his honor, Ken King and his wife, Marjorie smile. (Mary Clark photo/Farmington Valley Herald)

The North Central Connecticut Conference, which Granby joined in the NCCC’s second season (1964-65), gave King an appreciation award in 1987 for his years of support, service and dedication to the league.

In 2007, he was inducted into the Canton High Wall of Fame for outstanding leadership, scholarship and civic responsibility. He was a 1947 graduate of Canton High.

Calling hours will be Friday, Sept. 8, from 5-8 p.m. at Vincent Funeral Home in Canton. Burial will be private. Go to King’s obituary to leave an online condolence.

Gerry deSimas, Jr., is the editor and founder of The Collinsville Press. He is an award-winning writer and has been covering sports in Connecticut and New England for more than 40 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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