Knipp takes helm at RH

Published 12:00 am Monday, December 15, 2003

PEDRO - Todd Knipp can scratch the first item off of his Christmas list. That present came early.

Knipp got his wish Friday when the Rock Hill Board of Education hired him as the new head football coach.

"I'm excited. It's something I've wanted to do for a long time and I'm looking forward to the opportunity," Knipp said.

Email newsletter signup

Knipp takes over for Bob McCollister who resigned following the past season. McCollister finished with a 67-63 record, the winningest coach in school history.

The Redmen were 7-4 this past season and qualified for the postseason playoffs. McCollister has guided Rock Hill to its only two playoff appearances as well as two Ohio Valley Conference championship, the only time the team has won back-to-back titles. He fully supports Knipp's hiring.

"Todd's ready. He's a good coach and he's going to make a good head coach," McCollister said. "We've got a lot of good coaches on this staff."

Knipp played for McCollister from 1989-92 and then played at Otterbein College in Columbus. He joined the Rock Hill staff in 1997 and has coached quarterbacks, defensive backs and special teams.

He said his background at Rock Hill should help with the program's continuity.

"It's a big advantage. I know the kids and I know what buttons to push to get them going. They know me and I'm from the community. I'm one of them," Knipp said. "Most of our staff is that way. That helps out. Our kids know where you're coming from."

The staff will remain virtually the same with Chris Robinson, Barry Litteral, Mike Blagg and T.J. Howard. Knipp hopes to add one more to fill the void left when he was elevated.

The Redmen return only three starters next season, so Knipp is aware of the task he faces.

"I know we're going to be young, so it's going to be a learning experience for me and for them. We're going to have a good time. It's nice knowing now so that I have plenty of time to prepare," Knipp said.

Despite a rebuilding project and moderate expectations, Knipp said there will still be some pressure although he admits it will be self-inflicted.

"There's always pressure to win, but most of it will be from me because I want to win," Knipp said.

A lot of new coaches can't resist the urge to change the previous system. Knipp said he only plans a few minor changes."I'm going to tweak the offense some. We'll probably use more formations. Defensively we'll stay the same," Knipp said. "I've been working on my own stuff the last couple of years. Basically, I'll look and see what we do well with our personnel. If we have a kid who can throw, we'll throw. If we have kids who can run, we'll run it."