October 10th, 2013

Hyland's Heroes: G.H. Knoop

Kay Whelan

Staff Writer


Hyland's Heroes: G.H. Knoop
photo submitted by the Knoop family

Growing up in the Catholic School Athletic Association program does not guarantee a coaching career, nor does being a successful high school and college athlete. Some, however, gravitate to the role as “coach” for various reasons. Gayle Knoop represents the latter. She was a well known St. Gabriel, Assumption, and University of Louisville athlete. And, while she spent time at IUS coaching, most of her professional life revolved around her Business degree from U of L.

It was after she was married Denny Knoop and became “Mom” to her daughter Elly that Gayle found herself back in the coaching ranks. Though it had been awhile, she took to the role rather comfortably, and the team can thank daughter Elly for encouraging her mom to get back in the gym.

When and how did you get your start with the CSAA? Why so?

I started with CSAA in 2009-10 when my daughter started school at St. Michael.

Who asked you to contribute or what got you involved? 

I got involved coaching at the request of my daughter.  I was a volleyball and basketball coach at IU Southeast in the late 80's, before I started my business career, and had not coached since that time.

What sports did you coach and for how long?

This is my third year of coaching volleyball.

What's the connection with your faith and giving your time to young student athletes? 

Coaching is part of my stewardship and a way for me to give of my time and talent to my church community. Coaching young student athletes is a way I can contribute because of my own personal experiences.

Who was the most influential person on your coaching career? Why?

Mr. Don Metzger! He was my brother's basketball coach at St. Gabriel many, many years ago.  St. Gabriel, at that time, did not have a girls’ basketball program and I so desperately wanted to play on an organized team and compete.  Mr. Metzger would always encourage me to keep practicing and would even include me when possible.

What are your major themes/principles as a coach? 

My principals as a coach are very simple: always, always act with respect and with discipline, work hard every day and have fun.

What does coaching bring to you, your family?

Coaching is very rewarding to me, and my daughter enjoys having me coach - even though I am usually harder on her.  We have been blessed to share many fun and rewarding times together.

 What are the fondest experiences or memories you have of coaching? 

My fondest experiences seem to happen virtually at every practice and game.  Watching the kids I coach as that "light bulb" goes off in their mind and then seeing them as they successfully perform a fundamental skill, that’s my reward.

 

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