Dutch Fork (South Carolina) Head Coach Tom Knotts is High School Football America / National High School Coaches Association’s Coach of the Year

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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.”

Related: Julian Fleming Player of the Year

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

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About the Author

Jeff Fisher
Jeff is an award-winning journalist and expert in the field of high school sports, underscored with his appearance on CNBC in 2010 to talk about the big business of high school football in America. Jeff turned to his passion for high school football into an entrepreneurial venture called High School Football America, a digital media company focused on producing original high school sports content for radio, television and the internet. Jeff is co-founder and editor-in-chief of High School Football America, which is a media partner with USA TODAY High School Sports.