Coach Knox Elected to CHA Hall of Fame

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Greg Starks, Reporter

Once you walk through his office door, team photos stand as a reminder of his coaching legacy from 2018, 2013, and 2009. In the 2018 photo, the seniors on the team are standing side by side as they raise their helmets victoriously. A fancy yellow cursive font is sprawled across the top of the photo and it says “Blue Devils Class of 2018”. Right below the 2013 photo is a team photo from the 2009 season. The texts around the photo says, “2009 Inter-AC Football Champions.” If you look to your right, you will see a picture of Franklin Field and right below that are two degrees from the University of Pennsylvania hanging next to one another. But what stands out this most is an old Penn football helmet. Next to that is a football in a case from last year. The front of the football is painted white with the final score from a game against Haverford, 24-20 SCH won and painted right in the middle of the football read, “Coach Knox’s 100th Win.”  

For anyone that knows of Coach Knox, you probably know that he’s the Head Football Coach at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy (SCH). Many know him on the field, but few know the man off it.

“I’m an avid Metallica fan,” said Coach Richard Knox. “How’s that, that’s probably pretty unknown. I went to the last Metallica concert that was here in Philadelphia a couple of years ago, so that would be a little known fact. That and I’m a pretty avid skier, but I think a lot of people know that I like skiing.”

Coach Knox is also a History teacher and is beginning a new job on the admissions side of SCH. Coach Knox will be the new Athletic Liaison for the Admissions Department. In this new role, he will be helping to guide prospective families of student-athletes through the admissions process at SCH. This helps to make sure that student-athletes and their families get treated fairly and have a notable place in the admissions process.

“To me, athletics has been a huge part of my life all along,” said Coach Knox. “I know how important athletics is, not only to student-athletes but also to the school. As a community and the life lessons that it builds for student-athletes, but then also the community that athletics in general build. So being able to be part of that and being part of helping to bring student-athletes into the school [SCH] and keep the school more healthy in that way is exciting.”

David Wilson is the athletic director here at SCH. He has known Mr. Knox for the two years that he’s been here and knows that Mr. Knox has a huge impact on the kids that he’s worked with.

“Caring,” said Wilson. “Just a caring guy. He wants them [the kids] to go on and do great things. At SCH he wants them to have a great experience here, on the field and off the field too. So I would think he’s caring for the young men that he coaches for sure.”

“To be able to have my family and a lot of friends at the Hall of Fame Ceremony was extremely special. I have a 90-year-old father who was able to be there. I know how special that was to him.””

— Coach Rick Knox

Coach Knox tries to leave a lasting impact on every student that he coaches, just like the multiple people who have impacted him throughout his life.

“My parents, my family, my friends,” said Coach Knox. “But here at Chestnut Hill Academy great coaches like Jack Plunkett, John McArdle, Ron Colston are three amazing mentors that I had here. But also some great teachers, Stan Parker as an example, or Mr. Hines was my middle school teacher. So those are just some icons at this school that made a big impact on me. Made me love athletics. I’m sure that had an impact on why I got into this profession.”

With so many years under his belt as the Head Coach at SCH, Coach Knox was rewarded with an induction into the SCH Hall of Fame. To be inducted, candidates must have an excellent character and reputation. They need to have made outstanding contributions to the Springside School & Chestnut Hill Academy athletic program by way of an individual athlete, an athletic team, a teacher-coach, or an administrator. Most importantly, they need to stand out from the crowd when it comes to athletic success and accomplishments. Coach Knox passed every requirement and was able to be voted in with a unanimous decision.

One of the perks of being the Athletic Director is that you can take part in who gets let into the Hall of Fame. Mr. Wilson was a part of the committee that unanimously selected Coach Knox into the Hall of Fame.

“Just happy for him,” said Wilson. “I wasn’t around when he was an athlete here [SCH] or when he was an athlete at Penn. But the committee all voted a unanimous decision. It was his time to go in.”

“It was extremely emotional to get into the Hall of Fame,” said Coach Knox on his Hall of Fame induction. “To get into the Hall of Fame, as an athlete, you work for years and years and years focused on that practice or that game, that next level of success. I was involved in athletics since I was four, five years old. So really it was a product of over 15 years of hard work, but not only that but in college, so you could say almost 20 years of work, and effort, great moments, bumps in the road. You put so much into athletics when you then get recognized for your overall athletic achievement, it’s extremely emotional, it’s extremely rewarding. For example, to be able to have my family and a lot of friends at the Hall of Fame Ceremony was extremely special. I have a 90-year-old father who was able to be there. I know how special that was to him. So just overall getting inducted in the Hall of Fame where you went to school, because you went to school there that’s why you were eligible for that. But also where I’ve now worked for 15 years professionally is emotional, special on every different level.”