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Skagit Valley College to honor three athletic legends

Feb 13, 2023

Skagit Valley College will host “Legends Night” to honor Gary Knutzen, Steve Epperson, and Dave Quall at the men’s and women’s basketball games at the Dave DuVall Pavilion on the Mount Vernon campus Wed., Feb. 22. All three have been influential in SVC’s athletics program history.

The community is invited to a recognition ceremony at half-time during the men’s basketball game at approximately 7:45 p.m.

The women’s basketball game starts at 5 p.m. and the men’s basketball game starts at 7:15 p.m. The Cardinals will be facing Bellevue College in a North Region NWAC (Northwest Athletic Conference) matchup.

Admission to the basketball games is free for SVC students and employees with ID. It is $7 for adults and $5 for seniors (65+), kids under 12, military with ID, and students who don’t attend SVC.

About the Legends

Gary Knutzen, Former SVC Athletics Director
Gary Knutzen

Knutzen worked in various roles at SVC from 1962 through 2015. During his 54 years at SVC, he served as a physical education instructor, wrestling coach, and as SVC’s athletic director from 1963 until 2015 when he retired.

“Gary devoted his life to the student-athletes of SVC,“ said Mitch Freeman, SVC Athletic Director. “He believed in offering a comprehensive athletic program to provide a positive, life-long experience to as many student-athletes as possible.”

Knutzen was instrumental in helping to create baseball fields, softball fields, jogging trails, covered tennis courts, and expand the Dave DuVall Pavilion in partnership with Skagit County.

Gary Knutzen’s Accomplishments and Honors

  • Led two SVC teams to win the Washington State Junior College Wrestling Championships (1963, 1964)
  • Dutch Triebwasser Award for Outstanding Athletic Administration (1993)
  • Inducted into Burlington-Edison High School Hall of Fame (2006)
  • Inducted into Washington State Wrestling Coaches Hall of Fame (2007)
  • SVC building named in his honor (2009): Gary Knutzen Cardinal Center
  • Inducted into National Wrestling Hall of Fame (2011)
  • Gary Knutzen Spirit of Wrestling Award (Presented annually to wrestler exhibiting exemplary sportsmanship)
  • Paul Harris Rotary Fellow Award
  • Reiman-Driscoll-Campbell Award
  • Inducted into NWAC Hall of Fame (2016)
  • Inducted into SVC Hall of Fame (2020)
Steve Epperson, SVC Former Athletics Director
Steve Epperson

Epperson served in various roles at SVC from 1977 through 2019. During his 42 years of service, he held positions as the women’s volleyball coach, women’s basketball coach, men’s baseball coach and gym manager, financial aid director, and athletic director.

During Epperson’s 42 years as the women’s basketball coach, he led the team to four NWAC championships and reached a historic 900 wins on Jan. 19, 2019.

“Steve has had a profound impact on the lives of thousands of students throughout his exceptional career,” said former SVC President Dr. Tom Keegan. “With his leadership and passion, the Cardinals will be proud to build upon the tradition of excellence that he helped shape.”

Steve Epperson’s Accomplishments and Honors

  • Four-time NWAC Champion Women’s Basketball Teams (1988, 1994, 1996, 1998)
  • 1987-88 NWAC Championship Team inducted into NWAC HOF (2007)
  • 1998 NWAC Championship Team inducted into NWAC HOF (2016)
  • Four-time NWAC Coach of the Year
  • Fifteen-time Northern Region Coach of the Year
  • SVC’s basketball court named “Steve Epperson Basketball Court” (2019)
Dave Quall, Former SVC Athletics Director
Dave Quall

Quall served 11 years at SVC from 1981 through 1992 as the basketball coach and also as a Running Start program counselor. He led the basketball team to two NWAC championships in 1984 and 1988.

Outside of SVC, Quall served as a Washington State Representative for the 40th district between 1993 and 2011 and chaired the Education Committee.

Quall – known for his passion for education – also taught history and was a guidance counselor at Mount Vernon High School for 12 years. He was also instrumental in helping to create the SVC Career Technology Academy and Marine Technology Center in 2010.

“Dave epitomized SVC’s Guiding Principles – treating every person with respect and working to provide opportunities for all,” said Keegan.

Quall passed away in November 2020 at the age of 84.

Dave Quall’s Accomplishments and Honors

  • SVC’s Career Technology Academy named as “Dave Quall Career Tech Academy”
  • Inducted into NWAC Hall Of Fame (1995)
  • NWAC 1984 Championship Team inducted into NWAC Hall of Fame (2001)
  • NWAC 1988 Championship Team inducted into NWAC Hall of Fame (2019)
  • NWAC Coach of the Year (1984, 1988)
  • Five-time NWAC North Region Coach of the Year
  • Inducted into SVC Hall of Fame (2000)

For more information about Legends Night or SVC Athletics, visit skagit.edu/athletics.

Media Contact Info

Marisa Pierce, Executive Director of Strategic Marketing and Communications
[email protected]