When King George High School hired Antron Yates as its boys basketball coach less than two years ago, Foxes athletic director Alex Fisher believed he found the stability the program was craving.
Yates is a Westmoreland County native that lives in King George County and his son is a football player for the Foxes.
King George had experienced three different head coaches in a three-year span as Darren Berkley, Craig Boothe and Anthony Mills departed to Massaponax, Chancellor and Colonial Forge, respectively.
But King George is now in search of its fifth head coach in six years.
Fisher said on Thursday he informed Yates he won’t return for a third season as the Foxes are seeking a coach that will be in the building throughout the day to establish relationships with the players.
Yates is a full-time teacher at Freedom High School in Woodbridge. Berkley was the only one of the past four King George coaches that worked at the school.
“We’ve had quite a bit of instability here and I was really looking for somebody that could be 100 percent in King George all the time in the school with the kids,” Fisher said. “We want somebody that’s able to see the kids at any given moment and be around so the relationships with the kids and their parents really get strong.”
Yates went 8–38 in two seasons. The Foxes were 1–20 this past season with the first victory coming in the season finale against Spotsylvania.
Yates came to King George after four years as the Caroline High head football coach. Before he was hired by the Cavaliers, he served as head football coach at his alma mater, Washington & Lee.
Yates said he’s likely done coaching. He wants to watch his son, Joshua, play on the defensive line for the Foxes the next two seasons.
“When you’ve dedicated almost 20 years to coaching kids and doing things the right way and for the right purposes and things keep going sour, I’m just done, done,” Yates said. “I’m going to watch my son play out his football career, just teach and call it a day.”
Yates’ first season at King George was marked by the death of A.J. Gibson, a King George forward that collapsed on the bench during a game at Brooke Point on Dec. 4, 2018, two games into the coach’s tenure.
Yates said the loss of Gibson still hurts.
“That’s one of those things I will live with for the rest of my life,” Yates said. “That kid will be with me forever. There’s no playbook for a situation like that.”
The Foxes started two freshmen last season and their junior varsity team was competitive and featured youthful talent, Fisher said.
The AD believes because of the presence of rising sophomores Nehemiah Frye and Joe Billingsley and upcoming senior guard Von Whiting, the Foxes will be an attractive job for a new coach.
He’s hopeful the program will land a candidate that strikes the right balance between teaching at the school and coaching acumen.
“I don’t know what the missing piece is with being able to get that person,” Fisher said. “If I knew we would have it fixed by now … We want to have that combination and make sure we’re doing right by our kids and our community.”