By Paul Farmer
FAIRFIELD — Since finishing his playing days, Myles King has wanted to be a high school football head coach and the Rodriguez High graduate returned to his hometown hoping to make it happen.
King had his dream come true when he was named the newest head coach of the Mustangs earlier this month, the 12th head coach in the 20 years the school’s been open.
While no Rodriguez head coach has lasted more than three years, King, who’s been the RHS junior varsity coach the last two seasons and with the program for three, is a logical choice to take over.
“Myles was our only candidate,” said Tracy Cordes, Rodriguez athletic director. “Myles has been a part of our program for a while now and he has grown a lot as a coach. He is ready to take on our football program and he is determined to make our program the best it can be for our student athletes.”
When asked how it felt to be the new Rodriguez football coach, King gave thanks, starting at the top.
“First off, I would like to thank God,” he said. “I feel honored, blessed and excited. I’m very thankful to the administration and the athletic department for trusting in me with the future of our football program. I’m really happy that I have a family that truly supports me and my passion for football, and has supported me on my journey the whole way. It’s what gives me the strength to go out and help develop our community’s youth into better people every day.”
And it’s even more meaningful to be coaching where he had so much success himself, playing a role on three RHS teams that reached the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs, two of which won Solano County Athletic Conference titles (2008, 2009), the other an SJS Division III crown (2007).
“This job means everything to me,” King said. “It’s always been my dream to return back to the community that raised me, and helped shape me into the man that I am today. There’s no other high school in the country that I’d rather be at. I’m really proud to be from here and to be working here. This truly is a unique and special place.”
After finishing at Rodriguez, King helped lead Solano Community College to two Bay Valley Conference championships and went on to play for Graceland University, an NAIA school in Lamoni, Iowa.
King sees having played at so many different levels – even before high school – as an advantage.
“I’ve been playing football since I was 9 years old, first with the Solano Warriors, then on to Rod playing at championship levels the whole way through,” King said. “Also playing at Solano College and winning the Bay Valley conference two years in a row, then earning a scholarship to Graceland University where I was the (Heart of America Athletic Conference) MVP and NAIA All-American quarterback. I’ve seen three different levels of championship football and how to get there. I know it’s not easy and everything is to be earned, but I am definitely up for the challenge and will not take any shortcuts.”
Following his graduation from Graceland, King came back to Fairfield where he was an assistant JV coach at Armijo in 2016 before serving as head JV coach in 2017 with the then Indians going 4-5 with two losses by a combined eight points.
King made his way to Rodriguez where he served as a varsity assistant in 2018 and the Junior Mustangs 10-U head coach. He became head JV coach in 2019 and went 9-5-1 over the last two seasons, including 3-1-1 in the recent abbreviated spring campaign.
“The previous coaching positions helped shape me, and prepared me for this opportunity by learning from previous head coaches before me, watching them closely, and just observing the program as a whole every step of the way,” King said. “Being the JV head coach at Rodriguez for the last two years, I feel has been the biggest advantage for me in preparing for this year – having already built great relationships with the student athletes and their parents.”
King replaces one-year coach Stevie Johnson, another former Mustang quarterback, who came back to the school after retiring from the NFL and led the team during the pandemic-delayed spring 2021 season, going 2-3.
“Stevie Johnson has done a great job with our guys,” Cordes said. “Under his coaching the program has shown improvements. He handled a difficult time during the pandemic, facing a lot of challenges, and led the team with a lot of successes. Being from San Diego and away from his family so often, made it difficult for him and he felt that the program needs a leader that can be present and invest the time needed to build a great program. We are grateful to Stevie for bringing his passion for football and Rodriguez to our program.”
Joining King on his staff are Johnie Williams, Ozzie Williams, Matt Babino, Melvin Mason, Adam Gresham, Isaiah Keys and Jackson Miller. Jason Schwab is the head JV coach with Nick Carvalho, Jacobi Hill and Divontay Lebria the JV assistants.
“Everyone on this staff has been hand-picked by me,” Hill said, “each one having something unique to bring to the table.”
While making good use of the experience of his staff, King also plans to draw from his own past, especially when it comes to the offense.
“I plan to run the West Coast offense, mostly out of the pistol,” King said. “I’ve taken what I’ve learned from my playing days in high school and college, and also just being a football junkie, studying films of Ohio State, Oregon and Stanford (to be) formed into one playbook I created.”
There was no playbook on how to deal with Covid-19 and how it disrupted the last two school years, but King is looking forward to having a “new normal.”
“Due to the pandemic last year, everything was super unpredictable and very restricted,” King said. “Things were changing on a weekly basis and there was a lot of uncertainty about the season. Now, I plan to get the program readjusted and find the new normal. From a football scheme aspect, changing the culture and installing a new offense, defense and special teams in such a short period of time. Not having a spring ball (session) and having to start in the summer puts us at a huge time disadvantage, but we’re up for the challenge.”
Cordes thinks King and his staff are as well.
“We are looking forward to the upcoming season,” Cordes said. “I have had the pleasure of knowing Myles since his student athlete days at RHS. It will be fun to watch another RHS alumnus take the helm.”
King and his wife Daniesha have three sons, Myles Jr., Rieko and Dameiko.