Audio Interview: Steve Knight
Steve Knight has entered his 20th year with Excel Wrestling, a USAW Olympic Development Program. Knight has coached on the US Senior Olympic level in freestyle for years in addition to the Junior Olympic Program for Excel Wrestling.
Over the course of 20 years in the Excel Junior Olympic Program, over 200 wrestlers have reached the high school state finals and of those 200, 102 have won state championships. Knight says, "The biggest thrill that any of our Excel coaches get from this program is helping these young guys go on to compete on the college level, giving them a great foundation on the mat and a direction for their lives."
The Excel Junior Olympic Program runs in Iowa, Colorado and Wyoming. The organization is a 501C3 Christian led non-profit which began in northern Colorado in the spring of 1993. Knight is also the founder of the organization. Their board of directors reside in Colorado, while Knight has lived in Iowa for the past 8 years running the Iowa Excel program in Greater Des Moines.
Knight has also coached 42 Senior Olympic level freestyle All Americans. He has coached in 4 consecutive US Olympic Trials, coached on USA Wrestling's support staff for two Olympic Games in 2000 and 2004. As the US Pan American Head Coach in 2004, he led the US team to a gold medal finish at the Pan Am's in Guatemala City, Guatemala. He has also coached in 2 World Freestyle Championships and the World Cup.
Knight wrestled more than 100 matches abroad and claimed several victories over World and Olympic medallists. He was an alternate/training partner for the 1992 Olympics, is a former US Pan American Gold Medallist, Iowa State assistant coach, ISU All American and Big 12 Champion. In Iowa, he and his family have won 10 High School State Championships, 9 National Freestyle and Greco titles and several All American performances.
Steve states that the greatest influence in his life, beyond a shadow of a doubt, were his parents, Gene and Mary Knight.
This year, Steve will be inducted into the Iowa HSAA Hall of Fame in February 2013.