OCCC graduate lives for football
Chris Knight knows he has lived more than his fair share of lifetimes in just 35 years.
He recently reflected on his accomplishments over a couple of beers on a warm Friday afternoon at a southside restaurant in Oklahoma City.
Knight, now Marketing and Sales director for the Bricktown Brawlers indoor football team in Oklahoma City, is a former OCCC student who made a name for himself in football while also advancing academically.
Knight started his career at U.S. Grant High School in Oklahoma City, playing defensive noseguard and tight end for their football team. His team went 0 and 41 in a four-year span. He said it was the fourth longest losing streak in high school football, according to Sports Illustrated.
“I started playing my freshman year and broke the [Oklahoma City] record for sacks in one season,” Knight said.
During the spring of his senior year, Knight enrolled in OCCC’s Upward Bound bridge program.
He said his goal was to earn a transferrable degree to the University of Oklahoma while attending OU and OCCC concurrently.
Knight, the very first graduate from OCCC’s Upward Bound program, credits Learning Support Specialist Mary Turner as one of his mentors who helped him eventually earn two associate degrees from OCCC — one in science, one in liberal studies.
Turner said she remembers Knight well.“I credit him as one of our biggest success stories,” she said.
While Knight was busy academically, he also was busy making a name for himself in football.
It was during this time that Knight got back into football — first as an offensive lineman for OU and later for the Oklahoma Bad Boys, a semi-pro team.
Not only did Knight play for the Bad Boys, but also did most of the recruiting himself.
“This Oklahoma Bad Boys team had bar none the most talent on one single team I have ever played with,” Knight said. “I would do my recruiting through the Pioneer in the ads section and we got 90 percent of our players from OCCC.”
Knight also sang with the OCCC Chamber Choir for three years and played on the college’s chess team.
The former Chess Club champion said he achieved a master level ranking of 2000 out of 2200.
“I would much rather play a game of chess than read a book because you can just let your mind go and get lost in the board,” Knight said.
Knight got his start with the Brawlers early this spring when owner Dale Morris called him and asked him to replace the existing director of Marketing and Sales one month before the season started. “I came in with a mop and a bucket, and cleaned house,” Knight said.
Morris brought in 2003 Heisman Trophy Winner Jason White as co-owner and public relations representative.
Knight said he felt up to the challenge, since he had done the same in the past and put together championship teams.
In total, Knight played for more than five semi pro teams, and for three years, returned to his alma mater U.S. Grant, helping coach the team to the high school state playoffs two of those years.
Knight said he still lives his life for football.
“When your heart is in it, you’re 100 miles an hour, bro,” he said.
“I can step outside and smell the air and know its football season.”