Thursday, November 27, 2008

Q&A with Tom Knotts

Observer reporter Langston Wertz Jr. sat down with sometimes controversial Independence High Tom Knotts for a 90-minute talk Sunday night that ranged from what he thinks CMS principals need to be successful to why this run to a potential state championship is more important to him than any other. You can read the interview in Friday's Observer. Here are portions that will not appear in the print version:

Q. Could you take not winning?
A. “It would be hard. I’d be tough to live with. But I wouldn’t complain about not having p layers. I’d go to work like we did at Harding (going 6-14 in two years before turning it around). We made some changes and we were successful. We felt we had a plan and just needed the backing of the administration and teachers and for kids to be willing and you’ve got to have some players. But I believe every Charlotte school has 10 to 12 great players.”

Q. You’ve turned out more great players than a lot of coaches here, though. How do you want to be remembered when you stop?

A. “That I’ve given it my best and that I’m in it for the kids. That I enjoyed coaching kids and seeing them grow up to be young men. That I give it my all.”

Q. You ever think about doing something else?

A. “I’m not going to get out of it. Nothing else interests me as far as making money.”

Q. OK, what’s next then? Would you be interested in a new school?

A. I’m not interesting in starting a program like at UNCC or the new Mint Hill High. I have a great relationship with Mint Hill mayor (Ted) Biggers and we’ve talked about several things. It remains to be seen. But I’m more a Westside guy than an Eastside guy and I guess Indy right now is like a Westside school. But if the mayor has a hand in it, I could maybe do the Mint Hill school. A Mint Hill school would be good but not if all the Mint Hill kids keep going to Butler. I don’t know why we don’t get any Mint Hill kids. It’s like they’re letting our school go the way of others that are struggling.”

Q. Two CMS officials recently told me they’d favor leaving the N.C. High School Athletic Association and have city championships instead. What do you think?

A. “I don’t really care to leave the state association but I think the state has to be pay more attention to Charlotte since we’ve got so many teams going deep into the playoffs every year. We’ve got ADs who have good ideas and it seems to be we’re behind the times when it comes to so many things.”

Q. How has having a son, Jaxon, this year changed your life?

A. “It’s easier to leave work at school even though I have worked all weekend on Butler. My wife has been very accommodating. But I get frustrated by kids today. I don’t understand them. That really motivates me but it also makes me irritable, makes me mad. I don’t understand their attitudes and their terrible work ethics, but when I come home now I’m able to forget about the four or five guys that drive me nuts until the next day. I don’t bring it home much anymore.”

Q. Will you hang around long enough to coach your son and coach into your 70s like Catholic’s Jim Oddo? Will he play quarterback, your favorite position?

A. “It remains to been seen if Jaxon's a quarterback. He’s a little bit chunky now, but he might be a dad gum good lineman. Coach’s sons are always good. I probably will coach until I’m Oddo’s age. But there’s going to be a time when I take a year off. I haven’t had a Thanksgiving in 20 years. I had a momma the other day say, ‘I don’t think my son needs to practice, we’re going to the Outer Banks.’ I’m like, ‘We have practice and if he doesn’t practice, he doesn’t play.’ I’ve given up maybe 19 of the past 22 Thanksgivings. It’s a hard life. I’ve been going from July full-tilt now.”


joel 89 said...

L-W, great interview. Cannot wait til the rest tomorrow. Never been a big fan of yours, lately tho u been bringing the heat with hoops and football coverage.

Anonymous said...

Knotts will coach in central Charlotte in 2010. Write it down.

Anonymous said...

Pretty lame interview. How does he want to be remembered? Thats a cryptic question. So how does LW want to be remembered and what does he want on his tombstone? Knotts says he brought the westside to the eastside? Indy is 100% on the eastside and has been since 1966 when it opened. Maybe he should furthur elaborate.
Surely TK knows in 2010 the new Truelight Church Rd high school will dilute both Indy and Butler to mediocre status so the new school may be his best option.
The private school deal out since BH didnt do much at PD since private schools play at a much weaker level even with recruiting and scholarships.
TK at UNCC espec since the 49ers will begin in D2 although BH may have the same idea too?
Maybe BH and TK could both coach the new UNCC football team in 2014 since both have college coaching experience and local yocals who are well known?

Anonymous said...

LW, i think this was a good interview. Interesting to hear about Hopewell and TK. As a Hopewell parent, I wish we could've had him.

Anonymous said...

Kudos for your answers on this one Tommy! Please keep on telling it the way it is. You have a pssion for high school football, The City of Charlotte and it's kids. If anyone ever thought you didn't, one look at your answers to these questions and they'll change their mind quickly! Keep doing what you do and that includes not leaving CMS. We need coaches of your caliber to stay and some how get more here. Thanks You!

Anonymous said...

I hope TK travels north to AL Brown, we need a coach.

Anonymous said...

Coach Knotts, VALDOSTA, GA is calling your name. Please come and return the Cats to national prominence!!!