Saturday, April 26, 2014

District, high school athletics leaders honored

The district's Director of Physical Education, Health and Interscholistic Athletics, as well as two athletic directors at San Diego Unified high schools, have been honored by the California State Athletic Directors Association.

John Murphy, left, Gerry Knuppel and Bruce Ward. Bruce Ward, who oversees all district athletic programs, as well as John Murphy of Pt. Loma High and Gerry Knuppel at Clairemont High, received recognition from the association.

Ward, a member of the district's Hall of Fame, received the Region President's Merit Award from the association. He is outgoing president of the association, which represents high school athletic directors around the state. He attended Kearny High, Montgomery and Taft middle schools, Angier and Jones elementary schools, and San Diego State University, where he played football under legendary coach Don Coryell. Drafted by the NFL's San Diego Chargers, he played for the Kansas City Chiefs and the Southern California Sun (World Football League).

Murphy received the Norm Mackenzie Award which is presented to "rookie" athletic directors who display superior leadership skills and have been in their current role for less than four years. In addition to his athletic director duties, he coaches women's soccer and the surf PE program.

Knuppel received the Sue Kamiyama Leadership Award. He has been at Clairemont High School for more than 30 years, including more than 10 years as athletic director. Over the years he has been football defensive coach, boys and girls volleyball, track and field, badminton and wrestling coaches.