Community remembers beloved Metro Detroit softball, hockey coach who died of COVID

Family says Keith Knight was hospitalized with virus for 2 months

Beloved Metro Detroit softball and hockey coach dies of COVID-19

A community is mourning the loss of 57-year-old longtime high school coach Keith Knight, who died after a battle with COVID-19.

There was a big absence in the Henry Ford II Falcons dugout Tuesday night.

“He’s been more than a coach, he’s a friend and losing a friend is hard,” said Ford softball coach Matt Joseph.

Knight assisted Joseph on the softball field, and like every sport he coach, he made a difference.

“The big thing I remember about him is his work ethic. The man worked and worked,” Joseph said. “The best part is he did it out of love for the kids and he wanted it to be perfect for them.”

“He worked midnights and he would come in in the morning and he would rake the field and get it ready for us and I didn’t know that until just now,” said Ford softball player Danielle Sugars.

“He was very dedicated to the team,” said softball player Maria Beninati.

Knight’s natural coaching ability came from his own athletic prowess. A 1980 U.S. junior hockey team member, he played in the Calgary Flames system before hanging up his skates to start a family with his wife D’Ann.

He coached his own two sons and daughter, and was dedicated to his two granddaughters.

He also coached the Romeo High School hockey team and even carved friendships with his rival coaches, including Bob Hall at Eisenhower High School.

“He was just a great, genuine guy. High school hockey has lost a very great coach,” Hall said.

With condolences pouring in from former players, his current players are feeling his loss as well.

“Ever since he passed, I didn’t think I could ever step on the field again. I wanted to do something in honor of him, so I did the wristbands and put his initials on it. I’ve done that for every practice, every game that we’ve had since then,” said Ford softball player Kiana Bieniek.

You can watch the full report in the video above.

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About the Author:

Jason anchors Local 4's 5:30 p.m. newscast. He joined WDIV in January 2015 as a general assignment reporter and has a Journalism degree from Michigan State University.