The long-time football coach takes a job with the Oregon Athletic Coaches Association in his retirement

OUTLOOK PHOTO: DAVID BALL - Coaches Wendell Say and Chris Knudsen, right, meet for a handshake at midfield after a game in 2016. The former teammates at Linfield squared off when Say decided to bring his Hawaii-based team out of Aiea High School to the mainland.Centennial High's football team will have a new voice for the first time in more than three decades with Chris Knudsen announcing his retirement from coaching last week. He will also retire his position in the school's physical education department at the end of the school year.

"It was a very difficult decision. I absolutely love coaching football and have a lot of respect for the Centennial community," Knudsen said.

The change allows Knudsen to spend more time with his family — he has seen three grandchildren born over the past year. It also allows him to fill an Associate Director position with the Oregon Athletic Coaches Association.

Knudsen's first coaching stops came at Sandy and at Hillsboro before settling in at Centennial in 1986. He finishes his run with the Eagles with a 158-158 record, highlighted by a 23-2 run through the 1992 and '93 seasons that culminated with a trip to the big-school semifinals.

"You get a chance to work with some great people and you develop special relationships with your players," Knudsen said. "So many former players have reached out. When those notes start to come in, it really hits why you've been doing this all these years."

Look for expanded coverage ahead in our Tuesday, April 17, print edition.

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