New Athletic Director, Raymond Knauer

Getting to know the new athletic director


1. Can you introduce yourself?

I’ve been with Charleston Country for 18.5 years, in North Charleston to be specific. I’m from the north, from Pittsbugth. I love the opportunity to work with teenagers, I would say education has been a big part of my life. Education saved me from a rough life, it was my way to get out of a bad neighborhood. I put a lot of value in education, and I am still the only person in his family to graduate college. 

2. How would you describe yourself?

I would say I am always silly, my go-to motto is “work hard, play harder.” I love to goof off after the work is finished. I believe that while I may be able to be outsmarted, I can never be outworked. If I’m going to do something it’s going to be with everything I have.

3. Why did you decide to come to Magnet?

I needed to see a different school, I was at NCHS for so long that I needed to see something different. I have an admin degree, and I needed to see something different to see if I ever wanted to use it. I wanted a larger athletic program than NCHS, and at Magnet they offer sports that are club in addition to the varsity programs, like sailing. I like the environment at Magnet, with students cheering everyone else on, and its strong athletic program with the new weight room. Magnet has a bigger athletic department than some of the local 5A schools. There is a lot that goes on behind the scenes and I try to alleviate a lot of those stressors. Tickets, security plan, officials, transportation, police officers, paying officials, are all some of the behind the scenes tasks that are part of being an athletic director, and I like those sorts of tasks. I would describe myself as “a big planner.”

4. You used to be a lacrosse coach at Magnet, can you describe your past experience here?

I helped coach the team their first two years that they were a varsity sport, 2009 and 2010. I left because I was finishing my last Master’s degree and felt it wasn’t fair to ask students to be here everyday when I couldn’t.

5. What’s your favorite thing about Magnet so far?

Anywhere I go, my favorite thing is always the students, that’s what I’m in it for. They are always polite, and the student culture is such a big thing here. I am a big fan of Wall day and was excited to see the massive theme per grade, and my mind was blown when I walked into the Senior’s wall. The seniors put in all the effort themselves, and I just feel that there are a lot of great kids there.

6. Is there anything you would like to advise students about?

I just want them to know that this department is an inclusive and safe place for all students and that everyone is welcome regardless of who they are, what they believe, or anything like that. There is nothing harder than being a teenager, and I want to be there for them.

Whether it is a place to cry, a place to yell, or a place to work, this office door and this department is always open.

— Raymond Knauer

7. Why did you decide to become an athletic director?

I felt a strong passion for education and I was assigned this position that I was unfamiliar with 7 years ago, when I was suddenly exposed to all the behind the scenes of the planning that goes into every event. I have loved it since, love at first opportunity. It’s been really enjoyable even as it has been challenging, but I really like to be challenged mentally.

8. Did you play any sports in high school?

I played lacrosse in high school, a northern high school called Fox Chapel Area Senior High School.

9. Can you briefly describe some of the past schools you have been a part of?

I did nearly everything at North Charleston for the past 18.5 years: admin, teacher, coach, senior planner, cross country, and football. I moved here at 23 thinking that I would do a year or two away from the snow but I haven’t left yet.

10. What are your plans for the future of Magnet’s athletic program?

My plan for the Magnet is building a culture with the coaches, not over the coaches, not for the coaches, but with the coaches that serves the student athletes the most enriching and rewarding experience possible. I want students to be able to look back and feel that they had a great experience with every aspect of their highschool experience. I want to do my part to make their experience the most enjoyable, to be an adult they can turn to if they ever need help and to let them know that they are supported. All of the Magnet coaches here are amazing and I am looking forward to the opportunity to meet many of the teachers as well.

11. What are your favorite things to do on the weekends?

Every Christmas, I like to play poker tournaments in casinos. I also like adult coloring sheets as well, it’s just mind numbing and something nice to do. Advocacy is really the best way to describe my responsibilities. The adult coloring sheets are a nice break from the meticulous planning that is part of being an athletic director, it is a good way to sit around and decompress with something that doesn’t require problem solving.

12. Why did you decide to shave your beard?

It’s just to reset, I trimmed it a bunch of times and I didn’t like where it was going. It’s just to restart and start over.