The Connecticut Sports Writers’ Alliance is pleased to announce that Valley Regional/Old Lyme football coach Tim King and Haddam-Killingworth girls volleyball coach Richard Langer have been selected as the Doc McInerney High School Coaches of the Year.
King, the Coach of the Year recipient in a male sport, and Langer, the Coach of the Year in a female sport, will be honored at the 74th Gold Key Dinner on Sunday, April 26 at the Aqua Turf Club in Southington.
King led Valley Regional/Old Lyme to its first state football title this past fall and Langer guided Haddam-Killingworth girls volleyball to the Class S state championship in his 40th and final season.
Former professional hockey player Craig Janney, former Killingly High and Providence basketball standout Tracy Lis, former Derby High and Yale running back John Pagliaro and longtime FCIAC official John Kuczo will receive Gold Keys at the dinner.
Tickets to the 2015 Gold Key Dinner, which begins at 4 p.m., are $75 and can be purchased by contacting either CSWA President Matthew Conyers of The Hartford Courant at 860-874-4166 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Vice President Tim Jensen of The Enfield Source at email@example.com. Tickets can also be obtained by mailing a check to Connecticut Sports Writers’ Alliance, P.O. Box 70, Unionville, CT, 06085.
King, now in his 18th year at the helm, had a dream season in 2014. The Warriors went undefeated for the second straight season – Valley Regional/Old Lyme has won 24 straight regular season games – and captured their fourth Pequot Conference championship in five years. The Warriors defeated Bullard-Havens, 34-0, in the Class S Large semifinals before stunning Ansonia, 21-20, to win their first state championship and finish 13-0.
Valley Regional/Old Lyme also finished in the state’s Top 10 poll for the first time, ranked No. 8.
King has guided the Warriors to four playoff semifinal appearances in the last five years. Valley Regional/Old Lyme also went undefeated in the 2010 regular season, winning its first state playoff game with a 37-24 victory over Sacred Heart-Waterbury in the Class M quarterfinals. The Warriors lost to eventual state champion St. Joseph-Trumbull in the semifinals.
King, who also coaches outdoor track, became Valley Regional’s defensive coordinator in 1989 after helping coach Billings West High School in the 1988 Montana State AA Championship game. King became the Warriors head coach in 1997. King was an all-conference player for St. Bernard’s 1978 Class M state championship team. He also won a national championship in 1981 as a player at Idaho State.
King is a three-time New Haven County Officials Association Coach of the Year selection.
Langer, the only coach the Haddam Killingworth girls’ volleyball team has had, led the Cougars to the Class S state title this past fall. Haddam-Killingworth, which finished 26-1, defeated Seymour, 3-0, in the state finals. It was the school’s second state volleyball crown. Earlier in the season, Haddam-Killingworth defeated rival Morgan in the Shoreline Conference championship game.
Langer, who founded the program in 1975, has guided the Cougars to eight state championship appearances, winning in 1991 and 2014. He has amassed an overall record of 580-225, while coaching 13 first-team, all-state player selections.
Langer started playing volleyball in 1970 in the old Southern New England YMCA league. He played in numerous tournaments throughout New York and New England. Five years later, Langer started his coaching career and the volleyball program at Haddam-Killingworth.
During his 40-year tenure, Langer has been selected as both the Teacher of the Year for Regional School District 17 in 1998, and the Connecticut High School Coaches Association Volleyball Coach of the Year in 2001.
He was inducted into the Haddam-Killingworth Hall of Fame in 2009 and just recently was selected to the Connecticut Women's Volleyball Hall of Fame in 2014.
Langer continues to play volleyball at a competitive level having participated in the USAV National Championships three out of the last five years. Langer also coached girls' outdoor track for 11 seasons, compiling a 76-14 dual meet record. Langer retired from teaching in 2005 after 38 years of service in Middletown and to the regional school district.
Tim King photo courtesy of GameTime CT
Richard Langer photo courtesy of Michael McAndrew, Hartford Courant