Seneca Valley High School, a name once synonymous with Maryland high school football success, has parted ways with head football coach Fred Kim after posting a 2-8 record in the 2018 season — the worst in program history but the first losing record under Coach Kim.
“I announce with utter sorrow and disappointment that there will be a change in leadership with the Seneca Valley Football Program. The administration felt that a new and different direction was needed to revitalize the current state of the football program,” said Kim in a statement today.
Kim is one of the longest-tenured head coaches in Montgomery County, serving as coach of the Screaming Eagles since 2004 amassing a record of 131-43 in 15 seasons at the helm of Seneca Valley.
“I have spent the better part of the last 33-and-a-half years of my life being connected to Seneca Valley Football,” said Kim. “This has been my life’s work, my love, and an incredible journey in my attempt to reach self-actualization of my coaching career. But unfortunately, my odyssey here at Seneca Valley has come to an end. Seneca Valley will always be a special place for me. I only have wonderful memories of my experience as a former player, an assistant, and as the Head Football Coach. I’ve always and only wanted what was best for this football program and see it thrive. And if a change in leadership is deemed necessary, then with great humility I support the decision.”
A fixture at Seneca Valley for more than 30 years, Kim is a graduate of Seneca Valley, winning a Maryland State Championship in 1987 while playing for Coach Terry Changuris. He later returned to Seneca Valley as an assistant coach on Changuris’ staff winning two more state titles in 1994 and 1997. He was named head coach after Changuris’ retirement in 2003. He will continue to teach physical education at Seneca Valley High School.
Last month it was revealed that an incident took place in the Seneca Valley football team locker room on September 18. According to Montgomery County Public Schools, police and school administrators investigated the incident and found that multiple players were involved in the incident. However, investigators were unable to find direct evidence of an assault without further cooperation from the unidentified victim. According to MCPS officials, disciplinary action was taken against multiple students, and two unidentified adult coaches were reprimanded for lack of supervision.
Seneca Valley High School Principal Dr. Marc Cohen released the following statement regarding Kim’s departure. “Mr. Kim has been a part of the Seneca Valley High School football family for more than 30 years, and we are grateful for his service to our students and the SVHS community at large. We appreciate his unwavering commitment to the student-athletes on his team. Though Mr. Kim will no longer be with our football program, he will remain in his role as a teacher at Seneca Valley.” Cohen did not comment on the reasons for the coaching change.
Kim is just the third head coach in Seneca Valley History. He succeeded Coach Terry Changuris, who took over from the man who began the Seneca Valley football tradition — the legendary Coach Al Thomas.
“I can take comfort,” continued Kim’s statement, “in knowing that I have committed every ounce of my fiber and soul to the student-athletes who have been a part of the program under my guidance and been a small part of their growth into adulthood. Unfortunately, it had come to a point where my efforts were not worthy enough, and I will humbly accept responsibility,” continued Kim in his statement.
“My sincerest apologies goes out to the school, alumni, community, and especially the football student-athletes for failing as their leader. I thank you for the opportunity to serve as your Head Football Coach. It has been an incredible honor and privilege to lead the most storied program in Maryland Football History. And at the end of my run here at Seneca Valley, I can honestly say, “I DID MY BEST!”
Cohen said the school would begin the process of searching for a new head football coach soon.
Captions: It was announced today that Fred Kim, the longtime Seneca Valley football Head Coach, will no longer be coaching the Screaming Eagles.
Top: Coach Kim, wearing his 1987 state championship jacket which he won playing for Seneca Valley, with players wearing throwback uniforms at the final game to be played at the old Seneca Valley High School football field.
Next: Coach Fred Kim will continue as a physical education teacher at the Germantown high school.
Photos by Germantown Pulse