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Cougars AD taking Oakdale High job
Pat King was named Sac-Joaquin Section Athletic Director of the Year in 2011-12. The 15-year Manteca Unified employee is leaving his position at Weston Ranch to take over as vice principal of Oakdale High. - photo by Bulletin file photo

Weston Ranch athletic director Pat King announced Tuesday that he has accepted a new job with Oakdale High School after 15 years with the Manteca Unified School District.

He will begin his new position as vice principal on July 1.

A 1990 graduate of Ripon High, King, 43, started his teaching career at Oakland Unified’s Calvin Simmons Middle School. He joined MUSD in 1999-2000, teaching physical education at Golden West Elementary School while serving as head wrestling coach for Manteca High. King was then promoted to Dean of Athletics for Weston Ranch when the school opened in 2003-04. He doubles as vice principal at the South Stockton campus.

In 2012, he was recognized as a Sac-Joaquin Section Athletic Director of the Year during the 44th Annual California State Athletic Directors Association State Conference in San Diego.

As athletic director, King got to witness many of the school’s milestones, from its first Valley Oak League football championship 2005 to its first Sac-Joaquin Section championship in boys soccer — and any sport — this past fall. 

“We’ve been lucky at Weston Ranch,” King said Wednesday after overseeing the girls soccer team’s final game of the season. “We’ve had a fair share of good coaches and it’s fun creating something from scratch. That is no question a challenge that every coach wants. 

“I think our programs are up and coming and I’m proud of what’s going on at Weston Ranch High School right now in athletics.”

King said that the change will allow him to spend more time with his wife, Ingrid, and their two children, Alisyn, 14, and Jackson, 12. The Kings live in Stockton but may eventually move to Oakdale. The drive is nothing new to the family; Jackson practices in Oakdale three times a week with the Oakdale Youth Wrestling Club. 

“I have a really good relationship with Mike Moore, the principal at Oakdale High,” King said. “We both have kids who are part of the youth wrestling program. We spend a lot of time in Oakdale from November to March and my wife has friends out there. It’s a community that we’re looking forward to being a part of.”

But he’s in no hurry of leaving the community he’s helped shape for more than a decade. 

“I love the kids at Weston Ranch, and that was the hard part,” he said. “I have great relationships with most of our kids on campus, not just the athletes but the kids in general. We have a great staff and the teachers are great. 

“I’ve been at Weston Ranch for 12 years for a reason, and I’m not huge on change. That being said, I’m looking forward to what the change brings. I’ll get to develop new relationships with a new group of kids.”

Weston Ranch Principal Jose Fregoso said that it is King’s rapport with the students that makes him stand out most as an administrator.

“I’ve only had the pleasure of working with him the last six years, but one thing about him is that he really cares about our kids and the community,” Fregoso said. “He can discipline the kids, be real with them and yet still have a good relationship with them. 

“I think it’s a great loss for our school and a great gain for Oakdale High. It’s a blessing for them because he gets along so well with students.” 

One of those pupils is Seth Davis, who wrestled for King during his time at Manteca High. Davis is now the varsity head football coach and an assistant for the wrestling team at Weston Ranch.

“He’s always been a guiding factor for me not just in the coaching realm but in everyday life,” Davis said. “He brought me up at Weston Ranch and helped me set myself up to be a coach and a mentor to kids as he was to me and thousands of others. Losing him is devastating for the school, but a good opportunity has been presented for him and his family.”

King is riding out the remainder of the school year as usual, preparing schedules and transportation arrangements for the 2015 fall season to help make the transition easier for his successor. Fregoso said that the search for a replacement will begin “very soon.”

“Whoever steps in has big shoes to fill, not only with the athletic part,” Fregoso said. “He’s established a lot at Weston Ranch and made a big impact on a lot of our kids who graduated.”