Salisbury University Softball Head Coach Margie Knight will be retiring after the 2020 season.
After being devoted to her players for 23 years, Knight said it is time for her to move forward and do other things.
“There’s times where I haven’t been able to be with my family, or friends even, because this job is very demanding,” Knight said. “When you’re in season, you are in season, and I loved it, but it’s just time.”
Many upperclassmen on the team look back fondly on their experiences as a Sea Gull under Knight’s tutelage.
Senior infielder and catcher Emily Allen was named to the All-CAC Second Team in the 2017-2018 season and will have played all four years under Knight at the end of this year. Allen said she will miss Knight’s sense of humor and her passion for the game.
Allen said she will remember how Knight taught her how to use softball as her outlet to put outside distractions aside.
“For me, it was really hard to come here and not have outside factors influencing practice or games,” Allen said. “Coach Knight definitely taught me how to love softball and that this is my fun time of the day, to forget everything else and just be in the moment.”
In 2018, senior midfielder Dakotah Fraley was selected to the National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-Atlantic Region Second Team and All-CAC Second Team. That same year, Knight was inducted into the NFCA Hall of Fame as a member of the 2018 class.
Fraley transferred to Salisbury University in her sophomore year after playing one season of Division II softball at Lincoln Memorial University.
Fraley said that Knight is the reason she fell back in love with the game. She said that before she arrived at SU, she had lost the love she once felt for softball.
“Through the years, coach Knight has definitely taught me a lot. She taught me that it is important to have fun while playing,” Fraley said. “I think I lost that for a little bit, from my transition to here, and she reminded me that no matter where you are, you can always have fun and enjoy playing the game.”
Fraley also said Knight focused on checking on her players regularly and making sure that everything in like was doing okay, not just softball.
As a Salisbury student, Knight was a team captain for women’s softball, basketball and volleyball for two years.
Prior to the start of the 2020 season, Knight has assembled an overall record of 829-206-2. She also sits at 11th in all-time winning percentage across all NCAA divisions.
Knight has led her Gulls to three NCAA Finals, nine College World Series appearances and 20 NCAA Tournaments.
Knight has coached 38 All-Americans, 116 All-Region players and 184 All-CAC selections.
Not only did Knight coach softball, she also was the head coach for Salisbury’s volleyball team from 1997-2012. With Knight at the reins, the volleyball team won eight CAC Championships and played in eight NCAA Tournaments.
She was inducted into the Salisbury Athletics Hall of Fame in 1995 and the Maryland State Softball Hall of Fame in 2008.
Knight said that it was her dream job to work at Salisbury, a place that has held significance in her life for a long time.
“I’m also very fortunate to stay here for so long and have so much success, so to me, it’s a dream come true,” Knight said. “Not many people can say they enjoy going to work every day, but I do, and I’m very fortunate.”
After retirement, Knight said she is excited to see her nieces, nephews and siblings and spend more time with family.
Knight said she has missed out on a lot of time with her family members due to her devotion to her student-athletes and her program.
“I haven’t seen one of my brothers in seven or eight years, or my other brother, and my sister,” Knight said. “You have to make a decision. If you want to make your program great, other things have to go. So, it’s going to be hard to walk away, but I’m excited to take the time to be with my family.”
By DANIELLE TYLER
Featured photo: Sports Information image.