Bonita baseball coach John Knott leaving following season to take over at Mt. SAC


By Fred J. Robledo
Bonita High School baseball coach John Knott will be named Wednesday to take over the Mount San Antonio College baseball program, taking over for Kevin Smith, who was hired away from South Hills in 2013 and was just 17-19 this past season.
Knott has been one of the most successful high school coaches in the San Gabriel Valley over the last decade, compiling a 247-75-2 record since taking over at Bonita in 2006.
The 2006 season was Knott’s only losing season.
His teams at Bonita have won at least 18 games or more the past 10 seasons, which includes seven 20-win seasons and the incredible 32-2 finish in 2012, in which Bonita defeated Alhambra 5-1 for the CIF-Southern Section Division 3 championship at Dodgers Stadium, earning Bonita its second championship ever, and first since 1951.
Bonita won six straight league titles from 2009-20014, and are 23-5 this season and hoping to make a run in the Division 2 playoffs next week, which will be Knotts’ farewell ride.
Knott couldn’t speak on the record because the position doesn’t become official until Wednesday, but he already has informed his team and school officials of his intentions.
Although Knott loves coaching at Bonita, moving to Mt. SAC was a difficult position to pass up because it comes with a teaching position and a big boost in salary.

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  • reality

    The pay for a Community College part-time teacher plus baseball coach just can’t be that much of a bump. Take in the fact that you are giving up your tenure and retirement packages at Bonita Unified. That makes me think that Knott must not be happy at Bonita. You have to start looking at the admin after forcing out Medrano, losing Knott and Godley is teetering also. Coincidence after Bub took over from long time great Ketterling?

    • scotty bore as

      I was wondering the same thing, it must depend on what “part-time” means? I’m sure he had conversation with Smith about the position, I wish him well, classy,quality coach ! As for Bub, you’d think he would have good relationships with his coaches, he was Head FB coach at CHILLS

    • JustaFan

      If you look online you’ll notice that Bonita Unified isn’t the highest paying district around. Also, since he is making the move to a California community college he is still a state employee that will earn more money and allow him to retire with his pension plus whatever extra money he may be investing in a 403b or IRA (assuming he’s financially sound). Truth is he loses zero benefits and only gains in this situation. Its a win win for him. He will get to coach baseball full time and teach a few classes that will probably be along the lines of “fitness for life.” And NO PARENTS! Good for him.

  • The man with answers

    Being a former player for Knott. I can ensure that Coach Knott will bring a successful, competitive program to Sac.Sac is very lucky to have them. He is well respected in the community and his commitment will not be an issue. He has a true passion for the game and it is apparent. Congrats Coach we know you will only be climbing the ladder.

  • Don

    Sad day for BoHi for sure, but as a family man Coach Knott has to do what he thinks is best for those he holds closest and I wish him well and thank him for all the great memories.

    John took a moribund daddy ball program and turned it into one of the best places to play high school baseball in the Southland, maybe America. OMG, the HOWLS when Knott played FRESHMEN like Jio Mier and Jeff Gelalich rang up and down D Street. The old timey Bearcat faithful complained that those kids “hadn’t paid their dues” and were taking spots traditionally reserved for upperclassmen. And they were right, and Knott didn’t waver; more importantly, Podley and Bob Ketterling backed him up, and he won. And won.

    Knott has a reputation for being a teacher of the game rather than an assembler of talent and if you have ever seen him work, you’d know what I mean. Always in the kid’s ear encouraging, improving, and teaching. BoHi always improved as the year progressed while other schools, some of them baseball destinations, started the season as good as they would ever be. He also has always adhered to the baseball axiom of playing the best 11 rather than the 11 best.

    Who’s next? Henley isn’t going anywhere and I guess it’s too late to hope for Darren to want to coach nearer home.

  • FredJ

    Reading the comments is what I expected … John Knott has always been first class.

    • Don

      First class? Definitely.

  • Jerry Smith

    For those close to the situation, this comes as no surprise! Coach Knott spent 10 years at Bonita, longer than some expected and he’s done everything ever asked of him!
    Sometimes it’s time to move on for your family and take a chance at the next level of BB. God knows the parents in HS all have a Bryce Harper at home.. LOL
    Bonita will move on because they have too and I’m sure Knott will make sure a good coach is in place. Why not leave it in good hands… He built the program for what it is today and hopefully
    the raise to the test for CIF
    We’ll now the work at Sac is something different. The Admin surely made some wrong decisions over there and I’m sure enough is enough..
    Just think how many players may want to spend their first two years of college learning and becoming a better student athlete? Get ready for the draft or get ready for D1,2,3, and save some bucks, play in a great facility, have a good coach and have some fun!
    Sounds like a win/win for the school, coach, and player…
    Make no mistake, Knott isn’t green to recruiting, he played and coached at APU so I’m sure he knows the work starts now!
    Best of Luck

    • Fig

      I’m sure he isn’t new to recruiting since half the kids on his Bonita rosters weren’t from La Verne.

      • Sad Bearcat

        I coached with John Knott for 6 years and not once was there ever even a discussion about going out and getting players. He is not a collector of talent, he is a developer. Go watch a practice and you will see the work they put in on a daily basis. If some players aren’t from LaVerne it’s not because he pursued them. All he is guilty of is turning a program in shambles into an area power and a destination for players because the word got out that he teaches the game the right way and truly cares about his players. Shame on you for suggesting that he recruits. You are an outsider who is simply making assumptions and insinuating that he is a cheater because you looked at a roster?!?!

        And to all of you out there who are jumping to conclusions and assuming that administration is making it unbearable to work there, did it ever occur to you that coaches have aspirations too? The players aren’t the only competitive people on the field who want to move up. In fact, you don’t get to his level of success unless you are ultra-competitive. This is just the logical next step for a man who looks to continually test himself. Do jump on administration because it may have happened at another school.

        One more thing. Why are some of you talking about his finances like it’s your business? Some of you are acting like you know what’s best for a person that you probably don’t even know or maybe met in passing.

        My congratulations go out to John Knott. You have never compromised your values and have been a positive role model to so many young men. You deserve this. I have no doubt your coaching translates to any level and you will be successful wherever you go.