Knoch doesn’t have to look far to find new football coach

Thursday, January 13, 2022 | 11:02 PM

For Tim Burchett, it happened to be the right fit at the right time.

Burchett was named head football coach at Knoch by the South Butler County School District earlier this week.

A computer teacher at Knoch Middle School and a business teacher in the high school, Burchett, 33, has been an assistant coach for 11 seasons – the last five at Peters Township.

“This is a great opportunity for me,” Burchett said. “I know most of the ninth- and 10th-graders already. I love having these kids in class.”

Burchett will take over for Brandon Mowry. Shortly after the season, the school district announced that Mowry would not be back.

The Knights finished 2-15 overall the last two seasons but had an eight-game winning streak that bridged the 2018 and ’19 seasons.

Knoch last made the playoffs in 2014 and was in the Class 3A title game in 2011, losing to Montour.

Burchett put plenty of miles on his car the last three years, going from his home in Verona to Knoch each morning, then hustling down to Peters Township in Washington County to be part of the Indians staff.

“I coached the offensive line at Peters and I applied for the Knoch job,” Burchett said. “I don’t want anybody to think I had anything to do with what happened to (Mowry).”

Burchett plans to have a meet-and-greet with the prospective 2022 Knoch players Wednesday. He will then meet the parents later that night.

The new coach got a gift of sorts with the new PIAA football realignment. Knoch will drop from Class 4A to 3A for at least the next two seasons.

“Going to 3A, I can’t help but think it can’t hurt to play rivals like Freeport and Deer Lakes,” Burchett said. “In 4A, Knoch was one of the smaller schools. Now, in 3A, we’ll be one of the largest. The geographic rivalries can only help us.”

The WPIAL conference groupings will come out soon. It is possible other local schools such as Valley and Shady Side Academy will be on the Knights’ card.

Said Burchett: “One thing about small communities, people have a lot of pride. We want to get the crowds excited to come out every Friday and we want to bring some pride and hope again.”

Burchett has appeared to benefit from working under some high-quality coaches such as T.J. Plack at Peters, Jeff Metheny at Bethel Park and Chris Saluga of Chartiers Valley.

Burchett has always set a goal of becoming a head coach.

“They have taught me a lot and given me a little more responsibility,” Burchett said. “It was tough leaving Peters, but I’ve always wanted to do this and I plan to be at Knoch as long as they allow.”

Knoch will begin its 67th football season this fall with a 305-317-13 all-time record.


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