Al King is used to making his mark - whether it is a goal time running a race, setting a high standard as a Sports Information Director, or now, putting his stamp on being Ashland University's Director of Athletics.
King is in his sixth academic year as Director of Athletics, having been named to the position on Jan. 13, 2015. He was named Ashland University's interim Director of Athletics during the 2014 spring semester. He moved into that position in early July 2014. During the 2014-15 school year, Ashland athletics finished second in the Learfield Directors' Cup - the program's highest-ever finish in the Division II all-sports standings.
The 2018-19 season saw Ashland athletics record two team national championships (both men's track and field), a ninth-place finish in the Learfield IMG Directors' Cup standings, four individual/relay national championships, and had 14 teams have representation in the Division II postseason.
In 2017-18, King led an Eagle athletic department which saw five teams finish in the top 10 in the country, including national runner-up showings in women's basketball and men's outdoor track and field, and five individual/relay national championships. In 2016-17, Ashland athletics saw a team national championship (women's basketball) and a combined four individual national titles in wrestling and track and field.
King's first five academic seasons have seen Ashland's athletic department accomplish the following:
- Learfield Directors' Cup finishes of second (2014-15), 14th (2015-16), 12th (2017-18) and ninth (2018-19)
- Three team national championships (most of any Ashland Director of Athletics), 13 individual/relay national titles in track and field, and three individual national champs in wrestling
- Five second-place showings in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference's Presidents' Trophy standings
- 13 GLIAC championships
- 22 CoSIDA Academic All-America awards (through winter 2018-19)
- 20 GLIAC Commissioner's Awards (through winter 2018-19)
King is in his 27th year at AU. He spent 21 years as the school's sports information director. He is the longest-tenured SID in the school's history.
As AU's Director of Athletics, King oversees an athletic department that consists of 23 sports and more than 550 student-athletes.
As the assistant athletic director of media relations, King was responsible for all publicity concerning all of AU's varsity sports. His office wrote and edited all game programs and media guides, and was responsible for game, season and career statistics for all AU teams and student-athletes. He served as the main contact for all local, regional and national media. His office also was responsible for maintaining AU's athletics website.
King served as the official host for a number of NCAA Division II championship events. During his SID tenure, AU hosted the national swimming and diving championships four times, the NCAA Division II men's and women's cross championships once and the NCAA Division II softball championships once (2007 at Akron's Firestone Stadium). King was the media host for NCAA playoff games in women's soccer, softball, wrestling, cross country and baseball. He has covered numerous NCAA postseason events on the road, including football playoff games and baseball games. King went to the NCAA Division II World Series three times. He also covered the 2013 Women's Basketball Elite Eight, where Ashland won the national championship.
King has served on several national and regional committees. He was a member of the Harlon Hill Committee, which selects the NCAA Division II football player of the year. He was the regional coordinator for the Daktronics men's basketball Great Lakes Region all-star team.
King has been the regional chair and a member of the Top 25 voting board for the National Collegiate Baseball Writers of America. At Ashland, he has served on search committees for athletic director (twice), director of graphic services (twice), head swiming coach, men's basketball coach and baseball coach.
Prior to coming to Ashland, King was the associate sports information director at Indiana University, Pa. (1989-93). In that role, he wrote, edited and designed all media guides and game programs for all 14 of IUP's Division II varsity sports. He also maintained all records and handled all promotions for IUP's Athletic Club. King sold advertising packages for the annual Business Scholarship drive, which raised approximately $150,000 for athletic scholarships.
From 1984-89, King was a sports writer for the Indiana Gazette in Indiana (Pa.). He covered high school, college and professional sports for the newspaper, which had a circulation of 24,000. For three years, King was the beat reporter for the National Football League's Pittsburgh Steelers, covering all games home and away. In 1987, he won a first-place award for sports columns in the Pennsylvania Associated Press Managing Editors contest. During that time, he also was a weekly contributor to Steelers Digest and was the writer for Basketball Digest's NCAA Division II men's basketball preview.
King was a sports writer for the Meadville Tribune in Meadville, Pa., for one year (1983-84).
King is originally from Dayton, Pa. He received his undergraduate degree in communications/public relations from Mansfield State College in 1982, and earned a master's degree in sports sciences from IUP in 1983.
King is an avid runner who has completed dozens of marathons. He has completed the Boston Marathon eight times. His personal best in the marathon is 3:07, which he ran at the Toledo Glass City Marathon in 1996.
King's interests include sports and conditioning, history (particularly the Civil War) and Pittsburgh-area sports. He has a partial season ticket for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
King lives in Ashland.