SPARTANBURG - Connie Altman, Game Chairman of the 77th Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas has announced Newberry College head football coach Todd Knight has accepted the invitation to be the special guest speaker for the Shrine Bowl Coaches and Players Awards Banquet on Friday, December 20, at 6 p.m. in the Marriott Renaissance Park Hotel and Conference Center in downtown Spartanburg.
Knight recently completed his fifth season as the Wolves' head football coach, leading the scarlet and gray to the second playoff appearance in 100 seasons of football at the school. He has an overall record of 28-25.
Newberry finished 9-3 overall in 2013 with an undefeated home record, including a home win over top-10 ranked UNC Pembroke.
A total of 11 Wolves earned all-South Atlantic Conference honors, with seven players already named to all-region teams and more awards expected to be announced through the month.
As head coach, Knight has coached 38 all-South Atlantic Conference players and one South Atlantic Conference Player of the Year. Knight's players have earned 14 all-state awards, 23 all-region honors and 10 All-American awards. Newberry players have won the South Atlantic Conference Player of the Week honors on 21 occasions under Knight's direction, including eight in the 2013 season.
Knight's teams have excelled in the classroom, with 10 players in the last five years named CoSIDA Academic All-District and three players named as national semifinalists for the National Football Foundation's Campbell Trophy, which is known as the Academic Heisman Award.
Following their collegiate careers, Knight's players have found success in the professional ranks. Brandon Bostick plays tight end for the Green Bay Packers and recently became the first Newberry player to score a touchdown in the NFL. Ron Parker plays cornerback for the Kansas City Chiefs and helped that team to an 8-0 start to the season, sealing a win against the Dallas Cowboys with a sack, forced fumble and recovered fumble on Tony Romo on the same play.
Knight's speaking opportunity to the Shrine Bowl players and staff is special to him, as he is a Freemason and past Master of Amity Lodge No. 87 in Newberry. He is a member of the Newberry County Shrine Club, the Hejaz Shrine and is a Master Hillbilly.
Knight has also brought groups of players to the Shriners Hospital for Children in Greenville each summer.
Ronnie Blount, Chairman of the Shrine Bowl Board of Governors said, “We are most delighted to have Head Coach Todd Knight speak to our coaches, players, parents and fans of the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas. As one of the Carolinas' premier Division II collegiate coaches, his personal commitment to discipline and the importance he places on the standards of excellence on and off the field is extraordinary."
Tickets for the banquet will be available for $45 each by calling the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas office at 1-800-648-BOWL (2695). Tickets will on sale for the banquet thru December 14.