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Decatur Coach Bob Knox honored

Team leader inducted into Maryland Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame
By Managing Editor, Lisa Capitelli | Apr 19, 2018
Bob Knox

(April 20, 2018) Bob Knox, coach of the Stephen Decatur football team for more than three decades, was inducted into the Maryland Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame last Saturday during a University of Maryland spring football game.

Knox said it was a recognition he didn’t expect. In fact, when he received an email that he had been nominated, Knox said he had to double check to make sure it was sent to the right person.

He said the award represents dedication, commitment and the influence a coach has had on athletes.

“No. 1, I love working with kids and, No. 2, I love working with kids and doing something I love – football,” he said. “It’s more than wins and losses. It’s rewarding when kids come back and say, ‘coach, thanks a lot.’”

Knox said it is not only a great honor for him, but it is also a testament to the many assistant coaches who have worked with him over the years. He also praised the school administration and local community for its support, and thanked his family for the sacrifices they made over the years for him to coach football and do what he loves. Members of Knox’s family were on hand to celebrate his accolades.

“It was really nice. I’m honored and proud,” Knox said. “It’s not just me, though. It’s a culmination of a lot of people – coaches, family, administration, the players, the community.”

Coaches Bill Russell (Elkton High School) and Clayton Anders (Boonsboro High School) were also inducted on Saturday.

Knox was hired in 1974 as a social studies teacher and as an assistant football coach at Decatur. He was the head basketball coach from 1980-82 and has been at the helm of the Decatur football program since 1983.

Knox decided to step down for the 2016 season when his then 2-year-old grandson, Eli Knox-Tadli, was diagnosed with an aggressive brain cancer.

With his grandson responding well to treatment, Knox returned to lead the Seahawks for the 2017 season. The team finished the year with a 4-6 record.

Although this season had its ups and downs, Knox said he enjoyed being back with his players, rekindling relationships and building new ones.

“I missed the competition and being on the sideline Friday nights,” he said at the start of the season. “I didn’t realize how much I missed the kids until I came back, because you develop relationships.”

While at the helm, Decatur has won nine conference championships, made 10 state playoff appearances, competed in four regional championship games and in two semifinal matches. He was named Bayside Conference Coach of the Year seven times.

With an overall record of 232-141, Knox is ranked 13th on the All-Time Winningest Coaches in Maryland list. He is No. 2 behind Chuck Markiewicz of Arundel (243-96) for Active Winningest Maryland Coaches.

“Bob Knox has dedicated his life to other peoples’ children. He eats, sleeps and breathes football. He spends 12 months a year studying the game – watching film, going to coaches clinics,” Decatur Principal Tom Zimmer said. “I had the good fortune of being on his coaching staff in the late ‘80s and he really outcoaches the other guy. His in-game adjustments and halftime adjustments are something to see. He will know what play a team is going to run just by the formation they come out in. He puts his players in position to be successful, because he has studied the tendencies of the other teams.”

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