He was the youngest of the Knowlton boys who all attended and were star athletes at The University of Akron. His brother, Art, was a 1970 Hall of Famer inductee. During his three years of playing basketball under Hall of Fame coach, Fred Sefton, the Hilltop cages, which included the great Eddie Wentz, captured back-to-back Ohio Conference Championships with 14-0 record in 1918-19 and a 12-2 mark in 1919-20. Those two squads put together 22 straight victories over two seasons - a record that remains intact to this day. Unlike his brother, Art, who was a scorer and player on both teams, Bill made his mark as a scrappy and determined defensive player.