Retired Missouri coach finds renewed purpose as a beloved clown

Many people might see public schools today as more of a circus than institutions of learning.

But, when Steve Kern left his job as a physical education teacher and high school baseball coach, he traded in his whistle for a rainbow wig and oversized shoes, KSDK-TV reported.

Today, he entertains children and adults alike as “Knucklehead the Clown.”

I found that ironic knowing my own high school coach often referred to me and my classmates as a “chuckleheads.”

Steve began his new endeavor as a diversion after his wife of 50 years died.

“Being a clown and doing the goofy stuff that we do really really helped out a lot,” he explained.

Now he serves as a distraction for sick children spending time in local hospitals. In fact, KSDK applauded Steve for his infectious energy and warmth that often wins over even the most skeptical of clown-fearing children.

As the lights dim following one of Knucklehead’s performances, and the crowd erupts in thunderous applause, Steve knows he’s found purpose. Because in the end, the only score that matters is the number of smiles he can bring to those who need it most, KSDK reported.

The full story and a video segment can be found at