October 12, 1927 — June 8, 2018
Edward Theodore Knecht passed away on June 8, 2018, in Corvallis.
He was born October 12, 1927, in Toledo, Ohio, to Edward S. and Lucille B. (Miller) Knecht. He grew up in Toledo and graduated from Scott High School in 1945.
At age 17, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy. After the war, Ed served several years in the inactive Naval Reserve and attended the University of Toledo, graduating in 1950; later earning a Master’s Degree in history from the University of Michigan. In the early 1960s, he enlisted in the Idaho Air National Guard, retiring after 25 years in 1987 attaining the rank of lieutenant colonel.
He married Shirley Ann Brokaw on June 25, 1950. Mom and Dad were both only children, so they bucked that trend by having four children of their own. Bob was born in 1951, follow by Kathryn in 1953, David in 1954 and Jim in 1960.
His career spanned many years as a teacher, coach and administrator. He taught and coached in South Lyon and Dundee, Michigan; Toledo, Rossford and Defiance, Ohio; Boise, Caldwell and Twin Falls, Idaho.
In 1957, he joined Skip Stahley’s staff at the University of Idaho in Moscow. In 1960, he returned to Ohio to assume the head coaching job at Defiance, Ohio. After several years, he packed up the family station wagon and headed back to Idaho, this time to Boise to assume the head coaching position at Boise High School.
Boise-Borah football games on Veterans Day were legendary, drawing crowds in excess of 13,000 spectators, as those were the only two high schools in the city at the time. Boise defeated Borah 24-20 in 1964, their first victory in seven attempts over the Lions since Borah opened its doors in 1958. In 1965, Capital High School opened and Ed was named head football coach.
However, he left Boise to join Dee Andros’ coaching staff at Oregon State University before ever coaching at Capital. He coached the freshman team at Oregon State his first years on staff. In 1967, he coached the linebackers on what is arguably the greatest squad in Oregon State Football history, the Giant Killers. Dad was proud to have coached on that great team. He was able to attend the 50th reunion of that team in 2017, where he was able to see his players one last time. Not until after Dad passed did we learn the story of “Deputy Dawg” from former players.
In 1969, he became the Director of Athletics at the University of Idaho. He served in that capacity until 1974. The following years brought head coaching jobs at the College of Idaho in Caldwell and Twin Falls High.
In 1979, the students at Genesee were introduced to the Edward T. brand of discipline when he became the principal at that high school. Many former students have told stories about being summoned to Edward T’s office for a little chat time. He truly loved the community and his students.
In February 1983, he left Genesee to head up the Portland office of the Beaver Club. In 1990, it was back to Boise to work for Vandal Boosters Inc. Eventually he, and Shirley returned to Oregon, first to Beaverton and finally to Corvallis. Shirley passed away in 1998.
In 1999, Ed married Dorotha Jean Barratt. Dorotha passed away in 2011.
Ed is survived by daughter, Kathryn (Don); sons, Bob, Dave (Cathy) and Jim (Kim); grandsons, Mike (Rachel), Eric, Ryan (Laura), Scott and Gunnar (Kaylayna); and great-grandsons JP and Kai, and another great grand-child due in August.
Ed was honored to be inducted into the State of Oregon Athletic Hall of Fame; Oregon State University Athletic Hall of Fame; University of Idaho Vandal Legends and the University of Idaho Athletic Hall of Fame. He was Idaho’s Coach of the Year in 1964.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to athletic scholarship funds at the University of Toledo, the University of Idaho, Oregon State University or to the Boys and Girls Club of Corvallis.
A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday, July 14, at McHenry Funeral Home in Corvallis. A celebration of Ed’s life will be held from 2 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, July 28, at the University Inn Best Western in Moscow, Idaho.