Steven King, sports and family manager for the McGaw YMCA in Evanston, collapsed while working-out at the Y Friday evening and died despite emergency aid by YMCA staff, paramedics and hospital staff.

McGaw Y Communications Director Cherita Ellens says King had a tremendous impact on the youth and families with whom he worked in the Sebring-Lewis Center and all who knew him at the YMCA.

King also was a football coach at Evanston Township High School. He was assistant head coach and defensive coordinator for the Wildkit varsity team.

He played cornerback for the University of Michigan Wolverines where he was a two-year starter and earned a bachelor’s degree. He also held a master’s degree from Wayne State University.

Coach King with a player on the field. (Lynn Trautmann, LTPhoto).

ETHS Athletic Director Chris Livatino said King started coaching at the school in 2005 under head coach Tony Johnson.

Livatino said King “helped transform the football program through his ‘Wolf Pack’ mentality on defense and the passion he brought to the players and choaching staff.”

“More importantly,” Livatino added, “King transformed the lives of hundreds of young men as an incredible role model and mentor to each and every football player he coached.”

“Coach King set high expectations for his student-athletes on the field, in teh classroom and in life,” Livatino said.

Survivors include his wife Philina and daughter Payton.

Funeral arrangements have not yet been announced.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

Join the Conversation


  1. Steven King

    Steve was a bright spot on the City of Riviera Beach. Did it the right way too. Salute and RIP Big homie — nut (Ivey green)

    1. Miss ya bro!!!

      One of the best friends I have ever had! I will miss you! I still got your back! 

  2. My deepest and sincere

    My deepest and sincere condolenses to Steve's family, friends, loved ones and co-workers at ETHS and the YMCA.  I really appreciate the work he did with the youth and in the community. I honor and respect his commitment to helping others.

    May the MOST HIGH comfort his family and loved ones during this season of our lost and sadness. 

    Nehemyah Thurman


    1. Steve King

      Steve and I became closer when he started working at the McGaw YMCA.  As my son's football coach we had great conversations about football, his love for his players and talked about my son Jeffrey.  He was always full of positive ideas on how as a parent I could better support my son academically and also on the field.  He was respectful and I always sensed humbility. I am so thankful he became employed at the Y so we could get to know each other better.  I will very much miss his passing my office and making sure he took time to say Hey Mrs. Pittman and.I will miss my son Jeffrey coming home and sharing stories about Coach King at practice or at the games….My prayers to his wife, his daughter and ALL impacted by the loss of a such a wonderful individual!







  3. Thanking God for Steve

    Attending school with Steve and watching him play sports was great. But being able to know with him was an amazing honor. My sympathies goes out to his wife & daughter & the entire family. Steve did great things with his given time he was here on this Earth.

  4. Steve King/YMCA sports manager

    He was the best of us all.  You made all who loved you proud in your all too short life. I know you will be missed by many, you touched our lives and we are better for it. Rest in peace dear Steve. You are with God now. With love, the Kresser Family. 

  5. Rest In Peace Steve King

    It is with a sad heart that I reflect back on my dear friend Steve.  i worked with Steve at the Beyond Sports Foundation from 2012 to 2013. We will all miss you Steve and I know as all of the young people struggle to understand your unexpected departure, I hope everyone remembers the wisdom, the discipline and the support that you extended to each young person who crossed your path.  To your beatutiful wife and little princess, I want you to know that not one day passed that Steve did not mention you and  his eyes would light up with happiness, and You are his world and he will always be close by to watch over you.

  6. Steve King

    My dear cousin, I remember watching you grow into a fine young man in Riviera Beach, FL! We had so many loving memories at family gatherings, Christmas dinners!! I will truly miss you. This news has made me sad! My prayers go out to your family!! You made a big impact in so many lives while you were here!! May God open his loving arms to you and welcome you in his joy!!! Much love!! I will miss you!!

    Your cousin, Jackie Wade and family, Miami Gardens, FL

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