Mike Knighton, a coach at McCallie School in the 1970s and early 1980s, has died at Asheville, N.C. He was 79.
A native of Cedartown, Ga., he was the son of the late Glen and Margaret Bradford Knighton. He is survived by his wife, Shirley Bradley Knighton; daughter, Elizabeth Hart; son, Matthew B. Knighton; two grandsons, Johnathan and William and brother, Mark Knighton all of Asheville.
Knighton was a coach at Christ School in Asheville from 1981 to 2008. During his tenure, he served as varsity football coach, dean of students, director of admissions, athletic director, English teacher, and director of Alumni Relations.
He majored in English and played football at Vanderbilt University. He earned a Master of Arts in Education at West Georgia College.
Christ School officials said, "Mike’s profound impact and legacy at Christ School came from his warmth, humor, and generous heart. Famous for entertaining adults and children with his storytelling, he made everyone he met feel special and valued."
The Class of 2006 dedicated the 2006 Angelus, Christ School’s yearbook, to him, calling him “a beloved ‘Ripple Maker’ in our midst…One of the reasons he is fondly remembered by students, faculty, and alumni is because of his generous heart and absolute dedication to the school in so many capacities.”
Christ School officials said, "Mike’s own words capture his extraordinary spirit: 'For me, what transcends the emotion of winning and losing is that spirit of competition that prevails between these two great institutions (Christ School and Asheville School) and how that competition has helped to shape the character of so many men throughout the years. For a coach, the final score doesn’t read so many points for my team, so many points for theirs. Instead, it reads: so many men out of so many boys. And this is a score that is never published. And this is the score he reads to himself and in which he finds real joy when the last game is over.' ”