NEWARK – A standing ovation met Coach Bob Knox as the Worcester County Board of Education celebrated his induction into the Maryland High School Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame this week.
School system officials presented Knox, Stephen Decatur High School’s longtime football coach, with a commendation Tuesday in honor of the achievement.
“It is outstanding that his peers have finally come to recognize his achievements,” said Steve Price, the school system’s chief operating officer. “I will tell you that standing on the sidelines with this gentleman you learn to win with class and you learn to lose with class. I think that says a lot about a coach.”
Knox, who also teaches history at Decatur, was officially inducted into the Maryland High School Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame last month. During Tuesday’s school board meeting, Price recalled the years he spent on the sidelines with Knox as an assistant coach.
“I will tell you Mr. Knox is a great coach but he’s probably a better teacher,” he said. “He stands as an example to his students and his athletes of what hard work and a strong moral compass can do for you as you continue with life.”
Superintendent Lou Taylor, who also spent time as an assistant coach under Knox, said it was special day for him as he and Price recognized Knox.
“I started my playing days as a 15-year-old sophomore on the field with Coach Knox,” he said. “I learned to be a man under Coach Knox and I mean that sincerely. Between Coach Knox and my father I didn’t have a choice. I learned what hard work, what perseverance, what commitment was all about in my younger years playing for this gentleman.”
Several years later, Taylor joined Knox’s coaching staff and watched as he led the team through countless achievements. Knox has compiled a 232-141 record at Decatur and is among the top 20 for all-time wins in Maryland. His 232 wins rank him second among active high school coaches in the state.
Taylor said what he learned on the field with Knox helped him in his future leadership roles, as he became an assistant principal and then a principal. He said that while Knox had been with the school system for more than four decades, his passion had not wavered.
“We walk by his classroom on a Friday of the biggest game of the year and he’s as intense teaching those kids as if it was a Monday or Tuesday,” Taylor said. “And then he walks out there and changes hats and does it on the field… Like Steve said I’m proud to be his colleague but I’m more proud to be his friend.”