Dennis King first stepped onto a wrestling mat as an eighth grader under the watchful eye of first year coach and future Hall of Famer Bruce Rich. After a year at the middle school level Rich moved up to take the helm of the Chelmsford High School varsity team, where Dennis followed one year later.
As a member of the Chelmsford High team Dennis was a sectional place winner junior year, a year in which there was no official state tournament. The following year he captained the Lions and took home individual titles at the Wayland Holiday Tournament, Lowell Holiday Tournament, Sectional Tournament, State Division I Tournament and New England Tournament.
After graduating high school, Dennis attended Boston University where he had the opportunity to work under another Hall of Famer, Coach Carl Adams. At BU, Dennis was a three year starter, two year captain and placed in the Collegiate New England tournament three times. After graduating from BU he attended UMass Lowell where he achieved his masters degree in education, starting his career as a teacher and coach.
While at UMass Lowell Dennis started working as an assistant wrestling coach at his alma mater, Chelmsford High School. He coached at Chelmsford for three years, culminating with a team State Championship in 1990. During the 1990 season a chance conversation with Chuck Adamopolous of Central Catholic, who had established CC’s wrestling team six years earlier, led to the opportunity to take on the role of head wrestling coach.
In Dennis’s 25 years as the head coach of Central Catholic he had the honor of coaching 62 Sectional Champions, 39 State Champions, 16 All State Champions, 7 New England champions and hundreds of place winners at all levels. During that time Central Catholic won 8 Merrimack Valley Conference League Titles, 9 Sectional Titles, 3 MIAA State Titles, and 2 Coaches Association Individual State Tournament Titles. Upon stepping down as Head Coach, Dennis stayed on as an assistant coach under former Central Catholic wrestler, Jamie Durkin. Without missing a beat, Central Catholic has continued its winning tradition with five more league and four more sectional titles along with two individual state tournament titles and three Dual Meet tournament championships.
Dennis was fortunate to work with many great assistant coaches at Central Catholic, including the aforementioned Chuck Adamopolous and Jamie Durkin. Many of his assistants have been former wrestlers such as Mike Clements, Mike Armano, Eric Boucher, Matt Armano, and Ryan O’Boyle along other outstanding individuals such as Bob Jowett, Ernie Difiore, Tim Lattrell, Sean Kiley, Rich Durkin, Jake Durkin, Matt Marcotte and Trevor Abdallah. Dennis would like to thank all these individuals along with the athletic directors and administrators of Central Catholic who were all integral to the success of the program through the years. Dennis still lives in Chelmsford with his family and continues to teach at Central Catholic along with serving as Department Chair of the Science Department for the last 20 years.
Dennis also had the honor of serving on the executive board of the Massachusetts Interscholastic Wrestling Coaches Association for 18 years as both a sectional representative and at large member. In 2015 he was inducted into the Massachusetts Interscholastic Wrestling Coaches Hall of Fame. He is also a member of the Central Catholic Athletic Hall of Fame and Chelmsford High Alumni Association Hall of Fame.
Even more rewarding than his time in wrestling has been his experiences as both a husband and a father. Dennis has been married to his wife Dana for over 30 years. Together they raised three children; Maggie, Abbie and DJ, who have all grown to become the outstanding people we all hope our kids will grow up to be. No one truly knows the work and time that go into coaching any sport, especially wrestling, as well as the family of a wrestling coach. Without his family’s encouragement and support, along with that of his parents Dennis and Anne King, none of the accomplishments listed previously would have been possible.
Lifetime Service to Wrestling
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