King reflects on his time as EMU athletic director

Dave King reflects on time as EMU AD
Published: Jul. 21, 2022 at 11:16 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 21, 2022 at 11:53 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - It’s a time of transition for Eastern Mennonite University athletics.

Dave King has retired after 17 years as EMU Director of Athletics.

“Very glad that I am ready to move on,” said King. “It’s the right time.”

King, an EMU alum, says his original plan was to work at EMU for five years before moving back to Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where he was previously living. However, he ended up staying in Harrisonburg for more than 15 years while leading the Royals through intense ODAC competition. Carrie Bert has been named interim Director of Athletics at Eastern Mennonite.

“I was able to bring that stabilization and to prove that leadership development, personal development, the things that we want to have happen outside of the classroom, really can happen for those athletically,” said King.

During King’s tenure, EMU men’s basketball produced one of the most memorable seasons in the history of the athletics program. The Royals advanced to the NCAA Division III Elite Eight in 2010.

“It was exciting,” said King. “The other thing I would say is...see how a particular group of people developed more than what they were individually and the stories of how the kids came together.”

The buzz and interest the Elite Eight run created led to one of the most significant developments during King’s time at EMU: the creation of emuroyals.com, the official website for the EMU athletics program.

“Once we started being able to put that out there, we had videos up, we started doing postgame interviews,” said King. “We had recruiting videos. You have your facilities up there....that has been probably one of the most significant things that I was a part of.”

King, who plans to continue living in the Shenandoah Valley following his retirement, says hiring multiple first-time head coaches is something he is proud of when reflecting on his time at EMU.

“I’ve brought young people in here that are willing to work hard for what they are doing and really committed to the kids,” said King.

He continued: “When I think back about it, the changes that have happened in 17 years, you don’t really think about them but it was clearly a good run.”

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