TIGER FOOTBALL HEAD COACH
After 17 seasons as head coach at Ouachita, Todd Knight is the longest standing college head football coach in Arkansas. He has proven to be a strong leader as he heads the Ouachita program with integrity and passion.
Knight has guided the Tiger program through the infant stages of NCAA Division II, from the Lone Star Conference, the Gulf South Conference and now the Great American Conference. Steady improvement began in 2002 and 2003 which marked solid squads that would help build the future of Ouachita football.
In the inaugural 2011 campaign, Knight led the Tigers to their first ever Great American Conference championship, the first conference championship for the Tigers in over 20 years. The longest tenured coach in the GAC and the Tigers claimed the conference championship once again in 2014, and Knight was named GAC Coach of the Year in both championship seasons. Knight was also named 2014 AFCA Region Three Coach of the Year.
Knight has established Ouachita as an elite program among all Division II institutions. He boasts Great American Conference Championships in 2011 and 2014 and 70 All-Great American Conference players in just five years. The team is the only program in the state of Arkansas to boast eight consecutive winning seasons, cracking the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Top 25 in seven of eight of those seasons. The team has been ranked as high as seventh in the AFCA poll, and Ouachita finished the 2014 season ranked 10th in all of Division II.
Knight leads both on and off the field, and his players have been recognized for being outstanding achievers on the field, in the classroom and in the community. He has recruited and coached six professional football players, 145 All-Conference players, 20 All-Americans, three Honorable Mention All-Americans, 30 Academic All-Conference players and many GSC honor roll athletes.
During the 2014 season, the Tigers finished the regular season 10-0 for the first time in program history. After winning the its second GAC championship, Ouachita earned the top seed in the region for the Tigers' first ever appearance in the NCAA Division II National Championship Tournament. The Tigers finished the year with one Academic All-American, two All-Americans, six All-Region selections, 18 All-Conference selections and the Division II Special Teams Player of the Year. Ouachita also had a player named to the 2014 AFCA Allstate Good Works Team.
Knight’s seniors have had a 90% graduation rate and the team has been involved in service to the community for many years. He has been quoted in saying that one of the most gratifying things in coaching is watching his players grow into the total man during their time at Ouachita, graduate and go on to be successful in all aspects of life.
Knight’s development at head coach has come under solid leadership, playing under coach Buddy Benson at Ouachita, and later coaching under Red Parker and Don Skelton at Delta State from 1986-1989 and David Lee at the University of Texas at El Paso from 1990-1992. When he returned to Delta State as head coach from 1993-1998, he led the team to its first ever GSC Championship in 1998, also earning GSC Coach of the Year honors that year.
Knight was named to the AFCA Board of Trustees following the conclusion of the 2012 football season, adding to his list of accolades. He also served on the NCAA Rules Committee, helping to make changes and restructure the rules for the game of college football along with coaches from around the country.
Knight and his wife Julie have three Children, Casey a 2013 graduate of Ouachita, Spencer and his wife Megan, both 2015 graduates of Ouachita, and Jake a junior on the Ouachita Tigers baseball team .