Coach King pushes, motivates Hoover Bucs

(WIAT 42)

HOOVER, Ala. (WIAT)- Hoover High School is looking to three-peat as state champions, and a large part of that is due to coaching. Head coach Josh Niblett notched his 90th career win with the Buccaneers with a 42-0 win over Vestavia Hills Rebels Friday night. He credits a lot of that success to his staff. One of the more unique positions you’ll find in high school football, is that of Motivational Coach Daniel King. “He reiterates whatever you say as a coach,” says Coach Niblett. “So guys hear things two, three times, and that’s good for them.”

Coach King stands 6’8, towering over everyone else in the Hoover program. If it weren’t for a series of concussions when he was a toddler, he may have taken the field for the Bucs during his tenure there in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. “The last concussion he had, he was different,” says his mother, Jenise King. “He used to know his colors and numbers, and it all changed. He didn’t know them anymore.” Coach King graduated from the Hoover Special Education program in 2002. Because he is unable to drive, his parents shuttle him back and forth for practices and games. After high school, King served as a volunteer for Samford’s program. When Niblett was hired in 2008 to take over the Bucs program, King asked his mother if they could pay the new boss a visit. “Daniel came and asked me if he could go talk to him, and maybe help out with Hoovers program,” says Jenise. Niblett and his newly formed staff took an instant liking to the imposing figure darkening their doorway. “We’re said, ‘Hey man, why don’t you come be a part of what we’re doing?'” says Niblett. “So, he started coming more and more and more, and he was here every day.”

Now in his sixth season with Niblett and the Bucs, King can be heard throughout any practice or game giving constant encouragement or, when needed, admonishment. “If you’re not doing it right, let’s try to do it right this time,” says Coach King, explaining his philosophy. You can see a little bit of Coach Niblett in the way King interacts with the players. “I like doing it this way,” says King. “It’s more fun!” It’s also a huge part of his life. “Oh my gosh, it’s his whole life,” exclaims Jenise. “When the season ends, he’s just counting the days down until spring practice.”

On the outside, it seems like Hoover has given a lot to Coach King and his family. On the inside, it’s just the opposite. “He wakes up every day and every day is an awesome day to him,” says Niblett. “Whereas, a lot of us will wake up every day and we dread the day, he looks forward to the day.”

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