You hear NFL players talk about a brotherhood between themselves and often times it seems like the battlefield is divided up among players, coaches, then the opponents. The truth is the coaches and players are a united family and you never really hear about a professional player thank his coach until the player retires or the coach passes on. When players move from one team to the next due to free agency, waivers or trade, the last thing on their mind is an appreciation for their former club and coach.
Former Seattle Seahawks head coach Chuck Knox passed away last Saturday at the age of 86 years. Immediate acknowledgment from former players, coaches and fans poured in for the last of the no-nonsense tough guy sideline prowler.
While he is not the first coach to personify the tough guy image of a general on the sidelines leading his troops to battle, Knox was rare in that he despite his sideline persona he truly cared for his players and understood that the only way to win was to have a mutual respect between players and coaches.
In 2005 KNow was inducted into the Seahawks Ring of Honor and he was quoted saying “I’m not concerned about legacies and it is the assistant coaches and players that “deserve the credit” for the success the franchise enjoyed during his tenure in Seattle.
Knox tenure with the Seahawks started in 1983 and ended in 1991. In those eight years, Knox not only won more than he lost ( 80– 63) he turned a dormant franchise into a winner and breathed live to a city.
The Seahawks best postseason under Know was in 1983 when the team finished 2nd in the AFC with 9-7 regular season record that was followed by a 31 to 7 AFC Wild Card Game win over the Denver Broncos and an improbable 27 to 20 win over the Miami Dolphins in the AFC Divisional Playoffs.
The Seahawks miraculous playoff run was snapped by the Los Angeles Raiders in the AFC Championship game 30 to 14. The Raiders went on to win the Superbowl that year.
The Seahawks had their best regular numerical season the following year when they went 12-4 but finished second in the AFC behind the Divison Champs Denver Broncos who 13-3. Seattle exacted some revenge from the previous year loss to the Raiders when they hosted the AFC Wildcard game in the Kingdome and walked a with a 13-7 win. The Miami Dolphins flipped the script on the Seahawks and got their revenge on the visitors with 31-10 win at the Orange Bowl.
After the 1991 season with Seattle Knox coached the LA Rams for three more years and finished his coaching career at the very place he started it. Knox first head coach job was with the LA Rams in 1973. Knox won five straight NFC West West Division titles in his first five years with the Rams.
Knox finished with a 186-147-1 career record giving him the 10th most wins in league history and was the first NFL coach to win a division title with three different teams. Know also earned AP coach of the year with three different teams, the Seahawks (1984), the Rams ( 1973), and the Buffalo Bills in 1980.
Knox was remembered for his devotion to his players and his Knoxism which he used to inspire and motivate his players.