VIDEO: Jim McKnight Honored With Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame Lifetime Achievement Award
By Steve Wilson // April 21, 2016
SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME
ABOVE VIDEO: During his tenure with Rockledge, Jim McKnight has served as the Brevard County District 4 Recreation Board Chairman and has led Rockledge to develop four new parks, all while creating significant other enhancements to existing park facilities.
2016 LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT INDUCTEE
• FHSAA First Team All-State Baseball Team
• Developed, Enhanced Parks, Sporting Facilities
• Rockledge City Manager For 31 Years
The McKnight family relocated to Rockledge from Atlanta, Georgia, in 1959 when Jim was only three years old. He was the youngest of three boys, and sports and athletics were very much a part of the daily life in the McKnight household.
McKnight’s father, Charles “Mac” McKnight was among a group of men that built the first Little League baseball field in Rockledge, which opened in 1963.
During his youth athletic career, McKnight was involved in football and basketball, and led the basketball team from Rockledge to the County Championship as a 12-year-old. He also played football and basketball at what is now Kennedy Middle School.
McKnight played football and baseball at Rockledge High School. He was a three-year letterman in baseball and was named to the FHSAA First Team All-State Baseball team as a Junior and Senior.
Jim was the first player ever from Rockledge to be selected to play in the FHSAA High School All-Star Baseball Game. In 1974, Jim McKnight was named as the Space Coast Baseball Player of the Year.
Academics were also a focus of the McKnight household. He served as Senior Class President, was inducted into the National Honor Society and the Beta Club, and was a member of the Interact Club.
McKnight signed a scholarship offer to attend Valencia Junior College, graduating Magna Cum Laude from Valencia, and was offered the opportunity to attend Troy State University as a walk-on kicker.
McKnight’s most notable contribution was serving as a tutor for the football team, assisting athletes to achieve academic success. He was also named to Who’s Who Among American College Students.
McKnight graduated in March of 1978 with a 3.97 GPA (Summa Cum Laude) and was awarded a graduate assistantship to the University of Southern Mississippi Department of Geography and Area Development.
In 1981, he was awarded a Master’s Degree in Urban and Regional Planning, graduating with honors and being inducted in to the prestigious National Mortar Board Honor Society.
While working with Brevard County in the Planning and Development Division, one of McKnight’s major assignments was completing the Open Space and Recreation Element for the 1981 Comprehensive Plan adopted by the Board of County Commissioners.
In April 1986, he was selected to become the City Manager of Rockledge and continues to serve in this capacity.
McKNIGHT FAMILY SPORTS COMPLEX
During his tenure with Rockledge, McKnight has served as the Brevard County District 4 Recreation Board Chairman and has led Rockledge to develop four new parks, all while creating significant other enhancements to existing park facilities.
The former Rockledge Park is now known as The McKnight Family Sports Complex, recognizing the work of his entire family as it relates to sports and athletics in the City of Rockledge.
He served as Rockledge Little League president in 1998 and 1999 and also served as a volunteer umpire for a number of years.
McKnight has served on various non-profit boards and committees, such as the Central Brevard Sharing Center, the Indian River Lagoon National Estuary Program Management Committee, and the United Way Community Impact Committee for Basic Needs.
Currently, he serves on the Executive Board of the Brevard Homeless Coalition, Board of Directors of Keep Brevard Beautiful, serves as an usher at his church and is a member of the Civilian-Military Relations Council.
THE 2017 SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME Banquet and Induction Ceremony will take place at the Cocoa Beach Country Club on Friday, May 12.
FOR INFORMATION ABOUT the 2017 SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME Induction Dinner, call 321-615-8111 or e-mail MaverickMultimedia@gmail.com
CLICK HERE to see all the members of the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame.