ASHEBORO – Jeremy Knight said he was thrilled to become a part of the Asheboro Copperheads’ organization after he was hired to be an assistant coach for the 2020 season.
But the pandemic cancelled that campaign for the Copperheads and Knight had to wait another year for another opportunity to coach in a collegiate summer baseball league.
Now Knight is not only getting that opportunity, but he’ll be doing so as the head coach for the Copperheads, accepting that position after Keith Ritsche resigned to be closer to his family in Wisconsin. Ritsche, who had been the head coach for five seasons, was embarking on his sixth season as head coach and second season as General Manager when he made the decision to leave.
Knight, the top assistant coach for Southern Alamance High School, spent two summers with the New Market Rebels of the Valley Baseball League, winning the league
championship in 2018. He has summer league experience as a bench coach, first base coach and hitting coach.
“I can’t wait, I’m excited for the opportunity,” Knight said. “It’s kind of the next step for me wanting to be a collegiate coach in one shape or form.”
Doug Pugh, one of the Copperheads owners, made the official announcement Wednesday.
“Keith decided to be closer to his family and we fully support that and understand that,” Pugh said. “The fact that we had Jeremy in place to be assistant, it was natural to look to him and give him the opportunity to be head coach and he was excited about the opportunity.”
Knight said the experience he gained in the Valley League will be a big benefit as he takes over the Copperheads in the Coastal Plain League.
“It’s going to help tremendously, I had some great coaches I worked for,” Knight said. “I was a first base coach and worked with our hitting coach. I was a sponge. I took everything in and learned a lot that first summer. We won the title, so I know what it takes with the grind of the summer. My second year, I was the hitting coach and learned a lot more from a different situation. I’ve been able to work with a lot of players from all levels.”
Knight, 36, earned his degree in Media Studies in 2017 from Radford University and later earned his M.A. in teaching from Liberty University.
He began coaching at the high school level in 2015 at Stonewall Jackson High School in Quicksburg, Va. There he served as the head jayvee basketball coach, the head jayvee baseball coach, the assistant varsity basketball coach, the defensive coordinator for the varsity football team and the varsity head baseball coach for two seasons.
He is currently in charge of all hitters and outfielders at Southern Alamance, which is in the same conference as Asheboro and Southwestern Randolph high schools for the upcoming season.
Knight is still scheduled to help with the Southern Alamance program, but realizes his top concern is now the Copperheads.
“I don’t want to pass up this opportunity and if the two seasons didn’t bump into each other so much this year because of Covid, it would have worked out great,” Knight said. “I’ve been studying the roster, writing down who plays what and from where. Looking at areas we may be thin at. I’m going to get it nailed down.”