MT. VERNON – Trevor Knowles, a Mt. Vernon rodeo cowboy with world acclaim, can chalk up another success – this time in the wrestling world.
Knowles will be named to the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in Stillwater, Okla., as part of its Class of 2015 Oregon chapter honorees.
The Hall of Fame is also giving him the Outstanding American award for his rodeo and wrestling accomplishments as well as his work with the nonprofit Operation Comfort Warriors – an American Legion program in which Knowles visits military veterans across the country.
The induction ceremony is set for Saturday, May 2, at Washington Square Embassy Suites Hotel in Tigard; reservations to the event are available online at TicketLeap.
Knowles, who won the state title in wrestling for Grant Union High School in 1997 and 1998, said the honor caught him by surprise.
He added that he’s glad he can use his steer wrestling platform to give exposure to wrestling.
“I think wrestling’s making a comeback,” he said.
He’s still involved in wrestling, supporting the USA Wrestling Building Blocks program and helping coach youth at the Grant County Freestyle Wrestling Club in John Day in the winter.
His brother Drew, who has two children in the local club, also helps with coaching.
Trevor said it helps when young athletes have good coaches who are able to communicate.
“(You get it) coached into you,” he said.
His advice to youth: “Athlete or not, don’t be afraid to work hard for whatever it is – it will all pay off.”
He credits Hans Magden, who was his youth coach, and Eric Miller, his high school coach, for his success in wrestling.
Ranching, wrestling and rodeo have all been a big part of Knowles’ life.
He chose the rodeo career path while in college.
Since going pro, Knowles has been in the top 10 in the world standings five times, including third in 2010.
He has been a finalist in the National Finals Rodeo in steer wrestling for 11 consecutive years (2004-2014), and he placed third in the world standings in 2010.
He was also the Calgary Stampede champion in 2009, 2012 and last year, and was a five-time steer wrestling champion at the Columbia River Circuit.
While he’s seen success in the rodeo circuit, Knowles said “wrestling was a bigger part of my life than steer wrestling – I wrestled from age 4 until the year 2002.”
“I transitioned from wrestling to rodeo,” he said. “The discipline it takes to be successful in wrestling – you get back everything you put into it. That’s what I think has helped me, that discipline has carried over in every aspect of my life.”
He said wrestling has helped with the mental aspect of steer wrestling, and helped with balance and control.
“None of it’s really easy, but every bit helps – I’m still competing at 34,” he said of steer wrestling.
Since January, Knowles has been to six rodeos, including San Antonio, and he’s scheduled for a rodeo north of Las Vegas this weekend. He’ll spend the rest of the month in northern California.
He said he plans to stick with rodeo.
“This is my job, so I’ll stay with it for awhile until I feel I’m not competitive,” he said.
He does plan to take time out to attend the induction ceremony and joining him will be Miller, Tobe Zweygardt and other wrestling friends, and family.
Trevor is the son of Jeff and Sally Knowles of Mt. Vernon, and when he’s not on the rodeo circuit he’s home, helping on the ranch.