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Celeste Knierim

Ms. Knierim was a extraordinary student and athlete during her four years at Roosevelt. She participated in basketball, volleyball and was President of the Girl’s Athletic Association her Senior Year. During this time, Ms. Knierim played softball with teams sponsored by the Amateur Softball Association (softball was not a sport recognized by many high schools during this period). Ms. Knierim was also Vice-President of the Senior Band, Treasurer of the Senior Orchestra and a member of the Bwana staff.

After Roosevelt, Ms. Knierim attended Northeast Missouri State College (now Truman State University) in Kirksville, MO. Not surprisingly, she played softball, field hockey and volleyball all four years. To her credit, she was Captain of these three varsity teams for all four years. She graduated in 1972 with a Bachelor’s degree and a Masters degree in 1973, both in Physical Education.

Beginning in 1973, Ms. Knierim began her long and storied career as an Educator and Coach at the St. Louis Community College’s Meramec campus in Kirkwood, MO. She retired in 2003. Along with being an Associate Professor of Physical Education, Ms. Knierim started the girl’s softball team, coaching it until her retirement. Ms. Knierim also coached, at various times, Meramec’s girl’s volleyball, basketball and field hockey teams.

Ms. Knierim has been recognized for her many accomplishments as a collegiate softball coach in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA). When she retired in 2004, she was the all-time winningest coach in the association’s history with 1,043 victories (1,043-542). Sports Illustrated magazine recognized her as a “Face in the Crowd” in 2004 for winning her 1,000th game. During her 30 year career, Ms. Knierim lead her softball teams to 16 appearances in the NJCAA national championship tournaments, ranking in the top five in 11 of 16 years, including three second place finishes. Her teams won the NJCAA Region 16 conference titles 25 times. Forty-five of her players were NJCAA All-Americans, 125 were All Conference and 199 were All-Region selections. Ms. Knierim was named Conference Coach of the Year an amazing 25 times. She was honored with a St. Louis Women of Achievement Award in 2000.

Ms. Knierim has remained active after retirement by participating as a coach/evaluator with USA Softball which serves as the Governing Body for organized softball in the United States. In addition, Ms. Knierim plays the clarinet in her church band which provides entertainment at area retirement and assisted living centers.

Ms. Knierim has been recognized for her achievements by being inducted into the following Hall of Fames:

  • The Missouri Sports Hall of Fame – 2021
  • The NJCAA Region 16 Hall of Fame – 2007
  • The St. Louis Amateur Softball Association Hall of Fame – 2004
  • The National Fastpitch Coaches Association Hall of Fame – 2003
  • Louis/Meramec Athletics Hall of Fame – 2002
  • The NJCAA Hall of Fame – 1999

As can be seen by Ms. Knierim’s body of work, she embodies what a true Rough Rider represents  and is a credit to the Roosevelt High School community.

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