Veteran Head Coach Steve Knight is beginning his 31st season at the helm of the Crusader Men's Basketball program. On November 20, 2010, Knight surpassed legendary Alcorn State coach Davey Whitney as the state of Mississippi's all-time winningest coach at the same four year institution. He currently is ranked 16th among NAIA all-time active coaches with 537 career wins.
Knight began his coaching career as a Graduate Assistant Coach at Carey in the spring of 1981 and was named Head Men's Basketball Coach in July 1982 at the age of 25. His Crusader teams have compiled fourteen 20+ win seasons, captured six GCAC Championships (1984, 1985, 1987, 1990, 1992, 1997), six District 30 Championships(1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1989) , one Southern States Athletic Conference Divisional Title (2011) and have competed in seven NAIA National Tournaments(1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1989, 1997) . Knight has coached six NAIA All-Americans including one NAIA National Player of the Year. He was named NAIA District 30 Coach of the Year three times (1983, 1984, 1990) and GCAC Coach of the Year five times (1983, 1984, 1990, 1992, 1998). Knight has also been named Clarion Ledger Mississippi Coach of the Year in 1985 and 1990. In 2002-03, he served his coaching colleagues as President of the NABC-NAIA Men's Basketball Coaches Association. Knight has also served the NABC-NAIA as Vice President (2001-02) and Secretary (2000-01). Knight has also severed the NAIA as Men's Basketball Top 25 rater from 1987-2000 and on the NAIA All-American Selection committee since 1999. Knight was also the head coach for WCU baseball during the 1985 season.
In 1987, Knight took on dual responsibilities as WCU Athletics Director. During his tenure, the Carey Athletic Program has almost tripled the number of sport offerings from 5 in 1987 to 14 in 2012. Since 1987, William Carey athletic teams have captured 33 Gulf Coast Athletic Conference championships, 2 Southern States Athletic Conference Championships and have earned 27 trips to NAIA National Tournaments. Knight was named the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Athletics Director of the Year four times (2002, 2004, 2005, and 2007) and was selected as the NAIA Region XIII AD of the Year in 2003-04. He was also named as the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) 2005-06 General Sports Turf Systems Athletics Director of the Year – NAIA Southeast Region. Additionally, he served as President of the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference from 2001-2005 and again from 2006-2010.
Since 1996 Knight has served WCU as Assistant Professor for Physical Education. He has been an instructor in Physical Education since 1982.
Knight is a graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi (B.S. – 1979), as well as William Carey College (M.Ed. – 1982). He spent two seasons in the Seattle Mariner Baseball Organization playing for the San Jose Missions (California League). The Missions were the 1979 California League Champions and Knight led the team in saves (11) and ERA (2.72). His former minor league roommate, Bud Black, is currently the manager for the San Diego Padres. Knight was inducted into the Southern Miss M-Club Sports Hall of Fame in 2002.
Knight has been married to wife Regina for 32 years, and they have two daughters (Shanna – 29; Lindsay – 16) and three grandson's (Christian – 8; Brayden – 2; Jackson - 1).
The Knight Record
|NAIA National Tour.||%|
|NAIA District 30 Title||$|
|SSAC West Title||#|
|1||Sharod Smith||SO||G||6-3||167||Meridian, MS||Meridian High School|
|4||Jake Reed||JR||G||6-3||195||Brookhaven, MS||Copiah-Lincoln Community College|
|5||Jamal Doss||SR||F||6-5||205||Flora, MS||Madison Central H. S.|
|10||Daron Bell||JR||G/F||6-3||170||Waveland, MS||Pearl River Community College|
|11||Kelvin Nixon||JR||G/F||6-2||190||Heidelberg, MS||Jones Co. Junior College|
|12||Stefan Sartori||JR||G||6-1||185||Belgrade, Serbia||Itawamba Community College|
|13||Bassanio Green||SR||C||6-8||260||St. Elizabeth, Jamaica||Munro College|
|15||Donzedrick Smith||JR||G||6-1||185||Clinton, MS||Clinton High School|
|22||Phillip McCray||SR||G||6-1||182||McComb, MS||Southwest Community College|
|23||Jeremiah Dunnings||JR||G||5-11||173||Biloxi, MS||Mississippi Gulf Coast C.C.|
|25||Douglas La Rue||SO||F||6-6||205||Kennett, PA||Itawamba Community College|
|30||Fernando Garcia||SR||C||6-6||205||Metepec, Mexico||God's Academy (TX)|
|32||Christopher London||JR||G||6-1||170||Birmingham, AL||Southwest Mississippi C.C|
|33||Guy Payne||JR||F||6-6||263||Biloxi, MS||Mississippi Gulf Coast C.C.|