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|Steve Knipp named USA Wrestling Volunteer of the Month for May 2007|
By Tony Black USA Wrestling
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - USA Wrestling has named Steve Knipp of Waterloo, Iowa as the May Volunteer of the Month. Knipp is being recognized for his leadership role in three prominent USA Wrestling regional and national events.
"For the past four years, Steve has acted as the tournament director for the USA Wrestling Folkstyle Nationals. The amount of work that goes into that tournament is immense," said Pete Isais, Director of National Events for USA Wrestling. "This year there were over 2200 participants, yet the tournament was a huge success."
Knipp's work as a tournament director was not finished, however. In May and June, Steve served as the host for the Northern Plains Junior Regional Championships and the Northern Plains Kids/Cadet Regional, respectively.
In addition to the three national-level tournaments this year, he has hosted over 30 USA Wrestling and/or Iowa Wrestling Federation state, regional, and national events.
His involvement in wrestling dates back to junior high school. Steve wrestled at Columbus High School in Waterloo, then competed in college at both the University of Georgia and the University of Northern Iowa.
Following his career as an athlete, Knipp stepped into the coaching ranks at Waterloo East High School. At East, he was the head coach for 26 years. While at the helm, Steve coached over 30 state place winners and eight state champions. In 1983, Waterloo East won the team state title.
Steve has been involved with USA Wrestling for the past 25 years, largely with the Black Hawk Wrestling Club. Currently, he is the treasurer for the IWF. Steve is also a high ranking official with the USWOA. He regularly officiates at the Cadet and Junior Nationals in Fargo, as well as Kids Nationals in Green Bay.
This is not the first honor from USA Wrestling for Steve Knipp, as he was the 2002 USA Wrestling Kids Person of the Year.
Knipp is not involved for the recognition. Instead, Steve points out, "There are a whole bunch of great people out there donating their time to make quality wrestling programs available to young people."
"They all deserve an award every month. But I think their award is the positive impact their efforts are having on kids' lives," said Knipp.
Steve also notes that the friendships he has made gives him the most satisfaction from his involvement in the great sport of wrestling.
In addition to his leadership within USA Wrestling, Steve is the score keeper at UNI home dual meets. He prides himself on his attentiveness to keeping accurate riding time.
Knipp recently retired from teaching math at East High for the past 32 years. In his free time aside from wrestling, Steve keeps busy as a member of the Elks. He also is the interim president of his neighborhood association. His hobbies include woodworking, landscaping, and fishing.
Steve and his wife, Barb, have three children (Dan, Stephanie, and Melanie) and three grandchildren (aged 3, 2, and 1). Steve is quick to note, "My youngest grandchild, Mason, already has a singlet."
The Volunteer of the Month program is managed by USA Wrestling's State Services Department. Nominations will be accepted from state associations and individuals. Send your suggestions to Tony Black at firstname.lastname@example.org.
USA WRESTLING VOLUNTEERS OF THE MONTH
May 2007 - Steve Knipp, Waterloo, Iowa
April 2007 - Chris Kallai, Wadsworth, Ohio
March 2007 - Aaron Polansky, Charlton, Massachusetts
February 2007 - Anthony Flatt, Lawrenceville, Georgia
January 2007 - Randy Hinderliter, Ottawa, Kansas