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Remembering Coach King

A woman who touched the lives of hundreds of students and athletes from Roanoke to the New River Valley through sharing her passion for coaching and teaching died this past week.
Brenda Tolbert King, 46, of Radford, died Wednesday, March 11 after a battle with cervical cancer.
Before King was hired this past May as head girls’ basketball coach at Hidden Valley High School in Roanoke County, she served as head girls’ basketball coach at Pulaski County High School for two seasons, where she won 35 games and took the Cougars to two regional tournaments.
This was to be her first season as Hidden Valley’s coach, but she never got to coach in a game.
In addition to her time at Hidden Valley and PCHS, King became the first woman to coach a boys’ varsity basketball team in Virginia since World War II when she took over the Radford High School basketball program at age 29 in 1991. She also coached the RHS girls’ team to a pair of Group AA titles and a runner-up finish between 1988 and 1990.
At hearing the news of King’s death, Rod Reedy, principal at PCHS, commented, “Brenda was a valued friend and former colleague and we’re very saddened by her passing. Our hearts and prayers go out to Brenda, her children, and her family members.”
He also described King as an “outstanding coach” who had an “absolute love and passion for basketball.”
“She was just a wonderful asset for our school and sports community,” he said. “We will miss her greatly.”
When King was diagnosed with stage IV cervical cancer this past fall, a CaringBridge site, www.caringbridge.org/visit/brendaking , was created to inform friends and family about King’s progress during her treatment.
As evidence of King’s courageous spirit during her battle with cancer, the CaringBridge site states, “while this diagnosis has temporarily sidelined her, Brenda’s fighting spirit is still kicking and she is more determined than ever. Anyone who knows her knows that she never gives up.”
Outside the basketball court, King was a member of First Baptist Church in Radford, where she had taught the teenage Sunday School class.
Besides coaching and teaching, King’s children were her greatest passion. She was the mother of two children, including Jared, who was a former athlete at Pulaski County High School and is currently a freshman baseball player at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, and Kelly, who is currently an eighth grade student in Pulaski County.
King’s husband and Jared and Kelly’s father, Danny Lee King, was struck by cancer before his wife was ever diagnosed with the disease. He died in 2005.
A celebration of King’s life will be held today, March 15 at 2 p.m. at the PCHS gymnasium with Dr. Paul Lane officiating.
In lieu of flowers, King’s family has requested that memorial scholarship contributions be made(with the memo “Brenda King Memorial Scholarship Fund”) on behalf of the following local schools: PCHS, Attn: Angie Harrell, 5414 Cougar Trail, Dublin, VA 24084; RHS, Attn: Kim Wade, 50 Dalton Drive, Radford, VA 24141.
Online condolences may be sent to King’s family at www. mullinsfuneralhome.com.

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Remembering Coach King

A woman who touched the lives of hundreds of students and athletes from Roanoke to the New River Valley through sharing her passion for coaching and teaching died this past week.
Brenda Tolbert King, 46, of Radford, died Wednesday, March 11 after a battle with cervical cancer.
Before King was hired this past May as head girls’ basketball coach at Hidden Valley High School in Roanoke County, she served as head girls’ basketball coach at Pulaski County High School for two seasons, where she won 35 games and took the Cougars to two regional tournaments.
This was to be her first season as Hidden Valley’s coach, but she never got to coach in a game.
In addition to her time at Hidden Valley and PCHS, King became the first woman to coach a boys’ varsity basketball team in Virginia since World War II when she took over the Radford High School basketball program at age 29 in 1991. She also coached the RHS girls’ team to a pair of Group AA titles and a runner-up finish between 1988 and 1990.
At hearing the news of King’s death, Rod Reedy, principal at PCHS, commented, “Brenda was a valued friend and former colleague and we’re very saddened by her passing. Our hearts and prayers go out to Brenda, her children, and her family members.”
He also described King as an “outstanding coach” who had an “absolute love and passion for basketball.”
“She was just a wonderful asset for our school and sports community,” he said. “We will miss her greatly.”
When King was diagnosed with stage IV cervical cancer this past fall, a CaringBridge site, www.caringbridge.org/visit/brendaking , was created to inform friends and family about King’s progress during her treatment.
As evidence of King’s courageous spirit during her battle with cancer, the CaringBridge site states, “while this diagnosis has temporarily sidelined her, Brenda’s fighting spirit is still kicking and she is more determined than ever. Anyone who knows her knows that she never gives up.”
Outside the basketball court, King was a member of First Baptist Church in Radford, where she had taught the teenage Sunday School class.
Besides coaching and teaching, King’s children were her greatest passion. She was the mother of two children, including Jared, who was a former athlete at Pulaski County High School and is currently a freshman baseball player at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, and Kelly, who is currently an eighth grade student in Pulaski County.
King’s husband and Jared and Kelly’s father, Danny Lee King, was struck by cancer before his wife was ever diagnosed with the disease. He died in 2005.
A celebration of King’s life will be held today, March 15 at 2 p.m. at the PCHS gymnasium with Dr. Paul Lane officiating.
In lieu of flowers, King’s family has requested that memorial scholarship contributions be made(with the memo “Brenda King Memorial Scholarship Fund”) on behalf of the following local schools: PCHS, Attn: Angie Harrell, 5414 Cougar Trail, Dublin, VA 24084; RHS, Attn: Kim Wade, 50 Dalton Drive, Radford, VA 24141.
Online condolences may be sent to King’s family at www. mullinsfuneralhome.com.

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