Athens Review, Athens, Texas

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September 24, 2013

Knott to be honored

Dedication for longtime coach

Athens — Family and friends of a longtime Athens teacher and coach are invited to a memorial dedication in his honor at Athens Middle School campus at 11 a.m., Saturday.

Johnny Knott’s former co-workers and educators have raised donations to purchase a 5-foot park bench engraved with his years of service that will be set inside the AMS campus near the office. 

“We will invite the public to remember my father and tell a story or memory of their experience with him,” Johnny Knott’s son, Jason, said.

The ceremony will be hosted by Glenda Huddleston, one of Knott’s many co-workers.

All of the costs for the bench and the dedication ceremony were raised by private donations from Knott’s friends, family and former co-workers. No Athens Independent School District taxpayer money was used.

Knott coached in AISD for more than three decades, and is remembered for touching lives along the way.

Knott began teaching in the Cayuga Public School System in 1963, before joining AISD. After 33 years, Knott retired from AISD in 1999. He ran for and won a spot on the school board, where he served a 3-year term.

Knott left the school board after one term and along with his brother  Bobby Joe Knott, opened a driving range on U.S. Highway 175, east of Athens, which remained open until shortly before his death.

He was also caretaker for Catfish Creek Ranch south of Athens, an avid gardener and fisherman.

Jason Knott said his father was appreciated for his self-sacrifice and many sent remembrances of his giving spirit after learning of his death in June at age 75,

He spent many years at the middle-school level, shaping lives and young players who came through the program. Jason Knott said his father cared for each member of the team, not just the standouts.

“He wanted to be sure everyone had a good time,” Jason Knott said. “He tried to give everyone the chance to play.”

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