I clearly remember watching him race downfield up at Lynch Stadium and then stretching or leaping for a Buddy Flesh spiral thrown in his direction. Tim McKnight was an absolutely splendid split end for some of the first Amsterdam Rugged Ram football teams coached by the late Gene White. In his senior season during the fall of 1968, he caught 25 of Flesh’s passes for over 550 yards and finished near the top of the old Class A League scoring column with eight touchdown receptions. He wasn’t physically big, weighing maybe 150 pounds tops in full pads but he was tough, quick, had great hands and was never afraid to take a hit if it meant making a catch. A great all-around athlete, Tim owned the AHS track & field record in the triple jump for a generation and he was fast enough to anchor the 880 yard relay for Prof Cionek’s AHS Track squad.
McKnight was born on June 24, 1951, the son of Ed and Vivian McKnight and grew up with his two brothers, Butchie and Mike, on Amsterdam’s Elias Street. His parents were instrumental in helping the Little Giants football league sustain itself because they graciously ran the concession stand during all the years their three boys played in that program. After graduating from High School, Tim went to the University of Vermont and became a social studies teacher. In fact, he became one of the most popular social study teachers in the history of the Lynch Middle School, highly respected and well liked by both his students and coworkers. Some that I’ve spoken to said it was because he absolutely loved his profession, his subject area and genuinely enjoyed being around young people.
McKnight did more than teach during his long career in the Greater Amsterdam School District. He also served as a highly skilled coach in the district’s interscholastic sports program. It wasn’t surprising that his greatest contributions in that role were in the same two sports he excelled at as a student, football and track.
Tim is married to Amsterdam native Terrie Giardino, who is also a retired Amsterdam schoolteacher and they raised a daughter, Kelly. If he hadn’t become a teacher, Tim could have probably made his living as a carpenter. The guy is a regular Gepetto when it comes to building anything out of wood. Happy Birthday Tim!
(Tim shares his June 24 birthday with this former National Commander of the Military Order of the Purple Heart.)