Monroe Central's Missy Knowlton is stepping down following an eight-season tenure as girls' softball coach of the Lady Seminoles.
"I totally enjoyed my time (as coach). It was an enjoyable experience," Knowlton related. "But you also have an idea when it's time to leave and this was the right time for me."
Knowlton assumed Monroe's head post following the Lady Noles' most successful season in school history in 2004 when the Woodsfield-based team achieved a 32-0 season, culminating in a Ohio state championship.
Monroe fashioned a 18-5 ledger in Knowlton's initial season. Following a pair of rebuilding campaigns, the Noles captured 33 victories over the course of the 2008-09 seasons.
"Obviously, you have to have some talented players and we definitely has some good ones," Knowlton advised. "We qualified for the OVAC playoffs four of my eight seasons, though we fell short of winning a title."
Overall, Knowlton has 20 years of coaching experience. "I have so many players and assistants to thank over those years," she said. "I also owe a huge debt of gratitude to (Seminoles) athletic director Junior Winland and our park district for helping maintain a fine playing facility."
Knowlton will remain at her regular position within the school district. "Though I'll certainly miss the sportsmanship and great relationships I built over the years, there are also some aspects I won't miss," she stated.
Knowlton singled out former assistants Sandy Kilburn, Rob LaFollette, Bill Fox, Michael Brock and Missy Hooper as invaluable aides. She also thanked Barnesville's Paul Reed.
Missy and her husband, Mike Knowlton, will celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary in January. They are the parents of three children - Karin, 29; Tyler, 24; and Kylie, 22.
Gibson may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org