King easy fit as Knoch AD

| Saturday, July 14, 2012, 12:57 a.m.

Some would argue that Mike King is the face of Knoch football, a rah-rah leader with poignant pregame speeches and emotionally reflective postgame analysis — which he somehow turns into life lessons.

So King, who will enter his 15th season as the Knights' head coach this fall, seemed like the perfect candidate to become the school's next athletic director.

King, 48, was hired Wednesday to replace Josh Shoop, who is leaving to take the same job at Pine-Richland.

A Knoch alumnus, King said he has attended various athletic events at Knoch over the years, from varsity basketball games to middle school volleyball matches. He has served as game manager during basketball games while Shoop coached.

His son, Kraig, will be a junior football player. His daughter, Claudia, is an eighth-grade volleyball player.

“I want to create a fun environment here and try to be a guiding light, so to speak,” King said. “I have been in high school sports for 21 years and have been around coaching. If you are in the game long enough, you see wins and losses, and you have the good times and the bad. You want to be there to help the younger coaches along.”

King said he considered applying for the vacant assistant principal's position, having earned his principal certification two years ago.

“I thought if I didn't apply and interview, I'd never be considered for a leadership role,” he said. “I decided to go the AD route. It seemed like the right thing to do.”

King officially begins his new job in August.

“I have a lot to learn,” he said. “There are a lot of behind-the-scenes things that ADs do that never get noticed.”

One thing is the ticket-selling-and-taking process, which Knoch experienced during its football playoff run to the WPIAL championship game.

“I saw the volume of tickets; people beat a path from the front door to the athletic office,” King said. “But that's a great thing to be a part of.”

Benusa signs with Wild Things

Former Riverview baseball star Karl “Gus” Benusa has signed with the Washington Wild Things of the Frontier League.

Benusa was an eighth-round draft pick of the San Francisco Giants in 2009. The lefty outfielder has been in the Rookie Arizona League with the Arizona Giants ever since. He battled a setback in 2010 when he had Tommy John surgery.

He hit .230 with 12 RBI in 21 games in 2009, and .297 in 24 games in 2011.

He was hitless in five games this season.

Benusa, who led the WPIAL with a .638 batting average and seven home runs his senior year, picked up a $125,000 signing bonus when he signed with the Giants.

Knapp paired with Watson

Oakmont resident Sean Knapp made the cut in his U.S. Senior Open debut, shooting 70-72 (2-over) in his first 36 holes at Indianwood Golf and Country Club in Lake Orion, Mich.

Now, Knapp gets to enjoy a Saturday on the links with a legend. Knapp, 50, is paired with Tom Watson, who also is at 2-over and tied for 35th.

Knapp currently is the low amateur in the field.

“Paired with Tom Watson in the U.S. Senior Open tomorrow. Are you kidding me?” Knapp wrote in an email Friday night.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-224-2696 or

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