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Gary Knutzen

Gary Knutzen

Skagit Valley College
Class of 2016

Gary Knutzen was hired as a physical education instructor at Skagit Valley College in 1963, he became athletic director in 1968. Gary devoted his life to the student-athletes of Skagit Valley College. He believed in offering a comprehensive athletic program in order to provide a positive, life-long experience to as many student-athletes as possible. He was a strong advocate of building team cohesiveness through team travel. He collaborated to build baseball and softball fields, jogging trails, covered tennis courts and an expansion of the Dave Duvall Pavilion in partnership with Skagit County.

Gary had many accomplishments and received numerous honors. Wrestling was a very important part of Gary’s career. He coached for 11 years and officiated for 35 years. His wrestling accomplishments included leading two teams to win the Washington State Jr College wrestling championships (1963, 64), inception of the Gary Knutzen Spirit of Wrestling Award (presented annually to HS wrestler), reception of the Reiman-Driscoll-Campbell award for lifetime devotion to the sport of wrestling and induction into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2011.

He also received the Dutch Triebwasser Award, was inducted into the Burlington-Edison HS hall of fame and received a Paul Harris Rotary Fellow Award. In 2009 the student services building on the SVC campus was named the Gary Knutzen Cardinal Center. Gary is beloved by both the internal and external community, his leadership over the course of his career is legendary.

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