A longtime basketball coach was shot dead in Detroit, leaving students and athletes at his school devastated and police searching for clues about who killed the 54-year-old.
Charles Knott was killed in the parking lot outside his apartment complex in Detroit on Tuesday night. The longtime girls basketball coach at Detroit Cody was found dead with nine bullet wounds.
“That was my guy, to be honest with you,” said Pershing High girls basketball coach Shawn Hill, who was with Knott just hours before the killing. “”He was a real close guy to me, a mentor and all that stuff. It’s a sad situation. I was with him that night. I was with him at 10. We had a meeting, because he was going to come over and help me at Pershing as a mentor and kind of an assistant coach. We were really thinking about doing it. Man, this is a blow. I cut my phone off yesterday. I didn’t want to hear anymore.”
Knott was remembered as intense coach who loved his players. He joined the school after a short time in the Army and
quickly became popular with students.
“We don’t know any details about the situation,” Cody principal Johnathon Matthews said. “Right now we’re just trying to get the students situated. We have grief counselors for the students and staff, and we’re just working with the community and the family. Our students are going through a lot, and our parents have asked us to keep as much of the press away as possible.
“I can make a simple statement in this respect: He has been within the Cody community for over 20 years. He has impacted several people in this community. He’s not only been involved inside the community at the school level, but also in terms of mentoring in the community and programs in the community.”
Fellow coaches in the Detroit Public School League were also shaken by Knott’s killing.
George Ward, a fellow coach, said he was angered by Knott’s death and hoped it would spur the community to find ways to eliminate violence in the community.
“It’s unbelievable,” Ward said. “I’ve heard of a lot of bad stuff. This is as shocking an incident as you will ever get.
“No one ever said anything bad about Charles. We need to bring attention (to the violence). A lot of coaches are fed up.”
Police said they do not know why the longtime coach was shot dead.