The Times photo by Maria Leichty 
Tom Knotts and his wife, Redd, wave to their grandchildren during the ceremony.
The Times photo by Maria Leichty
Tom Knotts and his wife, Redd, wave to their grandchildren during the ceremony.
There was no better way to send him off.

Senior night . . . against Tipton . . . with eight pins . . . and lots of fans.

Noblesville wrestling coach Tom Knotts was honored before the Noblesville versus Tipton senior night dual meet Thursday. It was his last home meet as the Noblesville wrestling coach after 19 years of coaching Miller wrestling and 26 years with Noblesville athletics.

The stands were full of Knotts' family, friends, fellow coaches, and wrestlers who he coached.

"I've done it a long time and I've had a lot of good kids," Knotts said. "It's very nice that they all came back to see it."

The dual was against none other than his old wrestling team, Tipton. Among his extensive coaching resume was a five-year stint as the Tipton head wrestling coach.

The Miller seniors led the way to a 69-9 victory as Knotts sat by the Noblesville mat for the last time. Noblesville got eight pins on the night.

"It was exciting to see everybody one last time and honor Knotts for everything he has done," Miller senior Nick Brady said.

The Noblesville seniors are Brady, Bradley Killion, David Kitko, Ryan Leslie, Noah Long and Ashton Mills.

Brady said he will remember Knotts' throw days the most.

"The main thing was he taught me to throw," he said. "On throw days, we would just get the mat out and throw all day."

Knotts said this was his favorite part of coaching wrestling.

"I like to throw," he said. "The kids know that. I like Greco-Roman moves. We try to be physical - we wrestle a really aggressive and exciting style. That's what I like most about it."

Overall, Brady added that, "he taught me to never give up."

Knotts led the Millers to 10 sectional and one regional championship. He had several wrestlers wrestle at state and one stuck out to him in particular.

He reminisced about Jason Chiado's run in the 1992 IHSAA wrestling tournament. Chiado made it to the state finals in the 1991-1992 season and lost by a 3-2 decision in the 119 weight class.

"It's a hard sport," Knotts said. "It's good to see all the kids grow up."

The Noblesville grad started coaching Noblesville wrestling in 1984 and coached until 1993. He helped turn around the Noblesville softball program from 1988 to 2000 before he headed to Tipton from 2002 to 2007. He returned to the Miller wrestling program for the second time from then until now.

"Tom Knotts has meant so much to Noblesville Athletics," Noblesville athletic director Tony Oilar said. "He is a Hall of Fame guy who showed up every day with the sole purpose of making his athletes better - not just physically but mentally."

Knotts was inducted into the IHSWCA coaching Hall of Fame in 2013.

"A guy like coach Knotts is very difficult to replace," Oilar said.

In attendance, were Knotts' wife, Redd, his daughter, Jennifer, and his two grandchildren.

When asked about his favorite part of his last season, he replied, "I'm waiting for it yet."