On a plaque in Monument Park in Yankee Stadium, in big, bold letters, Mickey Mantle is described as a great teammate. Of all Mantle's great accomplishments, that's how he wanted to best be remembered.
A great teammate also describes Alan King. Both Alan Kings, actually: the longtime head coach who retired following the 1991 season and who became a member of the WPI Athletic Hall of Fame in 1987, and the younger version, a member of the Class of 1976.
Alan King '76 was one of the fiercest competitors at WPI, no matter the sport. A gritty soccer player (just like his coach and namesake), he played an important part in the finest era in WPI's men's soccer history.
Led by father and son, WPI's teams finished 11-2-1 in the fall of 1974 and 9-3-1 in 1975. Alan was surrounded by some great talent, but he was the driving force, the unquestioned leader, and the player who could best be counted upon in crucial situations.
One story that won't be soon forgotten is what transpired in the final moments of a game played at Coast Guard. It was during a driving rainstorm. The field was saturated, and good footing was at a premium. The clock was winding down in a scoreless tie. Suddenly, Alan found the ball at his feet just a few yards away from the goal. As the goalkeeper lunged for it, Alan "accidentally" stepped onto one of the goalkeeper's hands with one foot. And with his other foot, he turned and calmly knocked the ball home for the winning goal.
In Alan's freshman and sophomore years, he scored 9 goals and 5 assists. As a junior, his fabulous scoring season saw 16 goals and 6 assists, both single-season highs over his career, for 38 points. The next year, he accumulated 14 goals and 5 assists for 33 points. By the time he graduated, Alan was WPI's all-time leading point-scorer with 94 (today he is second, behind Greg Tucker's 127). He's the third all-time leading goal-scorer with 39 (behind Tucker's 49 and Jim Viele's 40).
After graduation, Alan went on to play professionally for several clubs, sometimes teaming with his father and brothers. He was with clubs in the Philadelphia, Baltimore, and New Jersey open leagues, followed by stints in Florida and Kentucky. He's now playing in an over-40 league in Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania.
Currently, Alan is a work production manager for production processes at Air Products and Chemical Inc. He is currently in Asia, where he is overseeing many projects in several different countries.
For all his impressive credentials, it is indeed an honor to induct another Alan King into the WPI Athletic Hall of Fame.