“I knew that I would need an advanced degree and really something that differentiated myself,” King said. When she was younger, she had interest in becoming a lawyer, but “I didn’t really quite know what that meant or what I wanted to do with it (a law degree).”
She searched for a school with a sports law program so she could merge her two interests. It was pivotal in her trajectory that the athletic director she worked under at Notre Dame was Kevin White, who had previously served as athletic director at Tulane. “We had great conversations about Tulane and, ultimately, I made the decision to head to New Orleans,” King said.
She applied to Tulane Law School and for an internship at the National Collegiate Athletic Association — she was accepted to both. She deferred her law school acceptance and interned for one year before heading to Tulane.
After earning her Juris Doctor, White offered her a job at Notre Dame where she served as Director of Rules Education in the athletics department. A few years later, White announced he was leaving to be the athletic director at Duke.
“He called and asked if I would go with him and I said, ‘yes’ in a second,” she said. King worked with White for 13 years at Duke as senior deputy director of athletics. “Every career move I made has been with Kevin’s guidance and influence. He’s an incredible mentor.”
When White retired, it was an easy decision to turn to King for the role. King is Duke’s first Black woman athletic director and one of six women to lead an institution in the “Power Five,” which consists of 65 institutions in the five highest-earning and most prominent conferences in collegiate athletics.