Knox Taking Leave Of Absence After 33 years

BERLIN- For the first time in 33 years, Stephen Decatur’s varsity football team is going through its pre-season camp without its familiar head coach Bob Knox leading the way.

Decatur Principal Tom Zimmer on Monday announced Knox, who has roamed the sidelines for the Seahawks every year since 1984, is taking a leave of absence for the 2016 season for family health reasons. Knox has compiled a 228-135 record at Decatur in over three decades, which is second all-time for active high school football coaches in Maryland behind Good Counsel’s Bob Molloy, who has amassed 399 wins.

“All of us at Stephen Decatur are fully supportive of Coach Knox’s decision and we ask that everyone respect the privacy of both Coach Knox and his family during this time,” said Zimmer in a statement.

Knox will be replaced on an interim basis by Decatur defensive coordinator Stan Griffin, who will lead the Seahawks for the 2016 season. Griffin, who is also an accounting teacher at Decatur, has spent the last few seasons as defensive coordinator after prior coaching stints at Snow Hill and Delmar. He will be assisted by long-time Decatur staffers Fred Billings and Joe Andrews, for example.

“We are fully confident that Coach Griffin will continue the Seahawks’ tradition of excellence until Coach Knox resumes his role next season,” said Zimmer.

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Decatur went 4-6 last year in a season marked by deflating injuries. Griffin and his staff hope to improve on that record, starting with the road opener at Bohemia Manor on September 2. The Seahawks will open their home season on September 9 against Wicomico.

About The Author: Shawn Soper

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Shawn Soper has been with The Dispatch since 2000. He began as a staff writer covering various local government beats and general stories. His current positions include managing editor and sports editor. Growing up in Baltimore before moving to Ocean City full time three decades ago, Soper graduated from Loch Raven High School in 1981 and from Towson University in 1985 with degrees in mass communications with a journalism concentration and history.