While Dutch Fork’s Tom Knotts is already thinking about a fifth straight South Carolina high school football state championship, today he can celebrate No. 4, which makes him the 2019 National High School Football Coaches Association National Football Coach of the Year. The award is presented jointly with High School Football America.
Listen to Tom Knotts on HSFA Podcast
Knotts and the Silver Foxes won the Class 5A championship, which landed them at No. 11 in the final High School Football America 100 national rankings. Dutch Fork also finished No. 9 in the MaxPreps’ Xcellent 25 and No. 15 in the USA TODAY Super 25.
Knotts, who’s coaching career began in 1981, has now won twelve overall high school football state championships. He led Independence High School (Charlotte, North Carolina) to six state championships and West Charlotte to a North Carolina state championship in 1995. During his time at Independence, Knotts and his program set a record for the longest public high school football win streak in America with 109 straight victories.
“We are extremely pleased to honor Tom Knotts,” said Eric Hess, Executive Director of the NHSCA. “Coach Knotts has established Dutch Fork as one of the top programs in the nation during his tenure as the head coach. He exhibits a strong dedication to supporting and developing his high school student-athletes both on-and-off the football field.”
Knotts overall record is 415-64-1. He’s 12-5 in state championship games.
Knotts is the second South Carolina high school football coach to receive the Coach of the Year honor. The late John McKissick of Summerville High School was the first honoree for the 2008-2009 school year. McKissick is America’s all-time winningest high school football coach with 621 victories.
Below are past winners of the NHSCA award that has been presented jointing with High School Football America since the 2010 high school football season.
School Year – Name – School – State
2019-2020 – Tom Knotts – Dutch Fork HS, South Carolina
2018-2019 – Gabe Infante – St. Joseph’s Prep, Pennsylvania
2017-2018 – Bob Beatty – Trinity HS, Kentucky
2016-2017 – Bruce Rollinson – Mater Dei HS, California
2015-2016 – Gary Joseph – Katy HS, Texas
2014-2015 – Roland Smith – Miami Central HS, Florida
2013-2014 – Tom Westerberg – Allen HS, Texas
2012-2013 – J.T. Curtis – John Curtis HS, Louisiana
2011-2012 – Chuck Lenahan – Plymouth HS, New Hampshire
2010-2011 – George Smith – St. Thomas Aquinas HS, Florida
2009-2010 – Jeremy Williams – Greenville HS, Georgia
2008-2009 – John McKissick – Summerville HS, South Carolina
2007-2008 – James Drewry – Booneville HS, Mississippi
2006-2007 – Gary Rankin – Alcoa HS, Tennessee
2005-2006 – Randy Allen – Highland Park HS, Texas
2004-2005 – Charles “Corky” Roger – The Bolles School, Florida
2003-2004 – Bob Ladouceur – De La Salle HS, California
2002-2003 – Chris Jones – Heritage HS, Virginia
2001-2002 – Alan Trimble – Jenks HS, Oklahoma
2000-2001 – Bob Ladouceur – De La Salle HS, California
1999-2000 – Mike Pettine, Sr. – Central Bucks West, Pennsylvania