BERLIN – Worcester school officials announced on Tuesday that Stephen Decatur High School’s athletic field and stadium will be named for popular football coach Bob Knox and longtime former principal Lou Taylor.
The Worcester County Board of Education on Tuesday approved a motion to officially name the facilities at Stephen Decatur High School (SDHS) the Robert G. Knox Field at Louis H. Taylor Stadium. The new title, which comes as the existing field is being replaced with a new turf field, honors well-known history teacher and football coach Knox as well as Taylor, who before being appointed superintendent spent 17 years as principal of the Berlin school.
“We’re so very proud of what they’-ve done and how they’ve represented us,” said Bill Gordy, president of the school board.
The news that the field and stadium were being renamed was delivered Tuesday by current Decatur Principal Tom Sites and past Decatur Principal Tom Zimmer, who now leads Worcester Technical High School. Both men worked with Taylor and Knox during their years at SDHS.
Knox, who has taught U.S. history at the high school for 46 years, is known for his leadership on the football field. After starting as an assistant coach he was appointed head coach in 1983 and has established a record of 231-142. Under his leadership the Seahawks have made 10 state playoff appearances and have reached the state semi-finals twice. In 2018, Knox was inducted into the Maryland Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
“We are proud of the tradition Coach Knox has brought to the school,” Sites said. “Coach Knox is a phenomenal football coach, but he’s an even better teacher. We can all attest to that.”
Taylor spent decades with Knox at Decatur. He started as a student, graduating in 1978, before returning to teach and coach at the school. Taylor spent time as an assistant football coach under Knox and also helped coach the school’s basketball and baseball teams. He spent 17 years as principal of the school and in 1998 was named Maryland’s Secondary School Principal of the Year. Zimmer pointed out that during his years as principal, Taylor had helped raise funding for a new fieldhouse and homecoming fireworks. He also worked with local emergency responders to establish the annual mock accident presentation.
“He has been the number one cheerleader for Stephen Decatur High School and now he’s the number one cheerleader for Worcester County Public Schools,” Zimmer said.
Taylor thanked officials for the honor and said he was thrilled that his parents were able to witness the rec-ognition.
“It’s probably the greatest honor I’ve ever received,” Taylor said. “This is something I will cherish for a lifetime.”
Knox, who’d been told he was attending the board meeting to talk about the benefits of the new turf field, also expressed appreciation. He thanked the school system as well as his players, fellow coaches and family members. He said people didn’t realize the amount of time that went into leading the football team.
“All people see are the Friday nights,” he said. “That’s all they want to see, that’s all they want to talk about. They don’t see the practices. They don’t see what goes into it at home.”
He recalled watching game footage after a loss one night, yelling at the television. All of a sudden he noticed his wife and children peeking around the corner.
“My daughter says, ‘Daddy, is it alright to come down now?’” Knox recalled. “To do a good job at anything it takes a lot of preparation that people don’t recognize, they don’t see. I don’t know what to say. Thank you.”