High school: North Central High School in Spokane, Washington
Number of years coaching: 18 years
Accomplishments: 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 & 2010 Washington 3A State Champions, 2007, 2008, 2009 & 2010 Northwest Regional Champions, 2008 National Champions, 2009 National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Coach of the year, Chase Youth Award of Community Service
What makes Coach Jon Knight so inspiring?
It doesn’t matter if they are the fastest or the slowest, Jon Knight has the same goal for all his athletes. He wants them to grow up to be respectable young men. To encourage this within his team, he created the “honor code” which one runner says has “changed the lives of many athletes for more than a decade.” To promote the “honor code”, each year Jon Knight and the team participate in several service projects, cleaning and clearing brush, at the places they like to run like parks and trails. Not only does he encourage community service with his team, he has also been known to purchase shoes for athletes that can’t afford them, hosts breakfasts and BBQs for the team after Saturday long runs, and puts together a summer cross country camp each year. As one parent stated, “It is not by accident that North Central has such an excellent cross country program. Yes, there is a team of people that make it happen, but without an outstanding ‘team leader’ in Coach Knight, this excellence would not be achieved.” One last comment from a current athlete that truly inspired us was “he (Coach Knight) has turned my whole life around to where I have goals in my life.”