PORTAGE, Mich. (WOOD) — Portage Central High School is renaming its stadium to honor late football coach Bob Knight.
McCamley Field is now McCamley-Knight Field, Portage Public Schools announced Tuesday.
The school board approved the renaming and the addition of commemorative plaques for Knight and Stuart McCamley. Those plaques should be in place before the next football season.
Knight was head football coach at Portage between 1971 and 2004, leading the program 217 wins, to 14 conference championships, 10 playoff appearances and a state final appearance in 1977. He was in the Michigan High School Football Coaches Hall of Fame. He was also a track coach for 15 years and an assistant football coach between 2010 and 2016.
He died in October 2021 at the age of 80.
“Coach Knight was instrumental in establishing a winning culture at Portage Central High School that went well beyond sports,” Board of Education President Randy Van Antwerp said in a Tuesday statement. “He was a mentor and friend to countless students, parents, coaches, administrators, and community members. The values he instilled in others, in priority order, remain well known: faith, family, academics, and finally extra-curricular activities. It is appropriate, during this Centennial Year of Portage Public Schools, to add Bob Knight’s name to the rich history of the field to be known as McCamley – Knight Field!”
McCamley, who died in 1961, was a farmer, Portage Township supervisor and the Portage school board president who oversaw the creation of the football and purchase of the land for the field, which the township acquired for $1.
His name has been on the stadium since it opened in 1958 and up until now, it was the only one on any Portage schools facility.
“We appreciate the community’s patience as we thoughtfully considered the District’s policies around naming of facilities after individuals,” Van Antwerp stated. “While we ultimately created a policy prohibiting naming facilities after individuals in the future, we felt it was important to recognize and honor Coach Knight in this way.”