Rolla's Don Knapp selected to Missouri Sports Hall of Fame

The Missouri Sports Hall of Fame announced its Class of 2023 and that included former Rolla High School track and field and cross country coach Don Knapp.

Knapp will be inducted during the ceremony for 1 p.m. on Sunday, February 5 at the Ozark Empire Fairgrounds in Springfield.

"The Missouri Sports Hall of Fame is very excited to welcome our Class of 2023," CEO & Executive Director Byron Shive said. "We believe that this is a very deserving class of individuals, teams, and eras representing a diverse number of sports, locations, schools and time periods. It should be a very memorable induction day."

Knapp spent 37 years coaching at Rolla, retiring in 2018. During his tenure, he coached 180 all-state athletes and 12 individual state champions.

Knapp's Rolla teams won 40 conference championships, 10 district championships and earned 27 Missouri district plaques for first- or second-place finishes.

Overall, his Rolla squads won a total of 300 regular-season team meets.

Knapp coached Olympian Chantae McMillan, a heptathlete who competed at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. He also coached two high school All-Americans - McMillan and Val (Sauer) Crawford. In 2021, Crawford was one of the seven recipients of the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame's Wynn Award. The award recognizes former high school and college standouts who made positive impacts in their respective sports. She was a state champion in both track and field and cross country for the Bulldogs.

A pole vault coaching specialist, Knapp put on summer pole vaulting clinics for years around the state and saw 21 of his vaulters earn all-state honors.


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