Paul Knox, the veteran football coach at Dorsey High who helped produce numerous college and NFL players and won four City Section championships, said Tuesday night he has been fired by Principal Reginald Sample.
“I’m disappointed,” Knox said. “I wanted to continue coaching. It’s the principal’s call. He explained what he wanted to do.”
Knox said Sample told him the school wanted to go in a different direction. Sample could not be reached for comment.
Dorsey has not been competitive with rival Crenshaw in recent years. Knox retired as a teacher this past year and served as the walk-on head coach this season when the Dons went 6-6.
Knox, who took over the program in 1985, coached such players as Keyshawn Johnson, Johnathan Franklin, Rahim Moore and Stafon Johnson. He won City titles in 1989, ’91, ’95 and 2001.
Knox has been one of the most respected coaches in the City Section. His program was known for developing players who came back and contributed to their community.
“I’m happy and proud about what we did at Dorsey,” he said. “We were able to have good players and play at the highest level and have them go to college and the pros and learn some life lessons.”
Told of the news, Crenshaw Coach Robert Garrett said, “That’s a shame. I have a great deal of respect for him. That’s a sad commentary what they did to him. He gets this kind of appreciation for the legacy he put in. He’s an outstanding man who dedicated himself to that school.”
Former Dorsey linebacker Jeremiah Allison, a sophomore at Washington State, said, “He’s always been that grandfather figure to me. He’s a humble guy. He tells you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear. He’s a role model.”
Narbonne Coach Manuel Douglas said, “Paul is one of my mentors and it saddens me. I learned as much from him as any college or clinic I had attended in how to deal with people. He is Dorsey football.”