Fulks returns to area to lead New Kent High School football program
New Kent’s search for a new head football coach led them to a familiar name that new the area pretty well.
John Fulks was tabbed to lead the Trojans on the gridiron after Monday night’s school board meeting. He will look to return a program that was dominant in the early 2000’s back into prominence.
Fulks will bring his hard-nosed, no nonsense head coaching actions to the football field. He led the Essex Trojans to a 60-19 record in five years before his departure. Prior to that, he was the leader at nearby West Point, turning around a program and emasculating a 39-26 record over there. Fulks has had several appearances at the state level with both programs.
“I was proud in my career for rebuilding a West Point program that barely could win six games,” he said in a Tuesday afternoon phone interview. “I came in and put a plan into place and after the first two years of building, we were able to go 39-26.
“I see the same outlook for this program here and New Kent,” Fulks continued. “We have to build that winning culture and winning culture does not just happen. It takes hard work and when the hard work is accepted by the players then you can build a program that has the direction that is needed to succeed.”
Fulks inherits a program that went 10-20 under the direction of former coach Clark Harrell. One benefit the coach has is that many of the players have played in a system similar to the one Fulks runs, operating out both the spread and double-wing offense.
“In 2012, we had the state record for passing with 4,000 yards and New Kent’s offenses runs a sort of flexbone type of offense, similar to what we run,” the coach said. “However, we try to incorporate more passing and more stunts.”
Fulks has a knack for turning programs around, prior to West Point, he rejuvenated a King & Queen team that had been dormant since the 1990s. But Fulks already knows his first test will be a challenge, as he takes on a familiar foe in Charles City in a benefit game, a team that he’s had tight battles with over several years.
“The offense and defense will hinge on what kind of players we have and that the right system going along with the players skill will determine a lot of things,” Fulks concluded.