EKAC honors McKnight as top assistant coach

Published 1:35 am Thursday, January 19, 2012


Tribune Sports Editor


WESTWOOD, Ky, — Head coaches know the value of good assistant coaches. The Eastern Kentucky Athletic Conference agrees with the coaches.

The EKAC honors an assistant coach each year and this season the league presented the award of Assistant Coach of the Year to Kyle McKnight of Fairview.

McKnight — who played quarterback for the Coal Grove Hornets — was the Eagles defensive coordinator and helped the team to a 12-1 season including two playoff wins.

The Eagles — who finished with only their second unbeaten regular season in school history — lost in the Class A state semifinals 20-18 to Pikeville.

Fairview’s defense allowed just 5.79 points per game and did not give up a first down to three different opponents.

McKnight came to Fairview after a four-year tenure as the head coach at Portsmouth Notre Dame. McKnight joined the Fairview staff that is headed by his friends Nate and Garry McPeek.

Nate McPeek was a standout lineman for Marshall and played for the Huntington Heroes arena team. Garry McPeek was the Heroes’ head coach and also serves as the principal at Fairview.

At Notre Dame McKnight took over a program that was 4-46 in the previous five years before his arrival and posted a 20-19 record in four years including a playoff appearance in 2007.

McKnight is an 8-year member of the American Football Coaches Association. He has three children, Paige, 17, Chase, 14, and J.K., 6. He is the son of Tom and Linda McKnight of Coal Grove.