Bob Knight, who is the sixth-winningest coach in Division I Men’s College Basketball history, died Wednesday, according to his family. He was 83.
His Hall of Fame career was highlighted by three national titles at Indiana and countless on-court outbursts. One of those seasons was an undefeated season not since matched.
“It is with heavy hearts that we share that Coach Bob Knight passed away at his home in Bloomington surrounded by his family,” the Knight Family said in a statement. “We are grateful for all the thoughts and prayers and appreciate the continued respect for our privacy as Coach requested a private family gathering, which is being honored. We will continue to celebrate his life and remember him, today and forever as a beloved Husband, Father, Coach, and Friend.
“In lieu of flowers, please consider honoring Coach with a memorial contribution to the Alzheimer’s Association or Marian University,” ESPN reported.
Bob Knight Becomes Youngest Coach At Division I School In 1965
Knight became the youngest coach at a Division I school in 1965 when he broke in at Army at 24. But he made his mark in 29 years at Indiana. That included winning a school-record 661 games and reaching the NCAA tournament 24 times in 29 seasons. Knight’s first NCAA title came in 1976 when Indiana went undefeated, a feat no team has accomplished since.
In 1984, he coached the U.S. Olympic team to a gold medal in Los Angeles, the last American amateur team to claim Olympic gold. Knight won 20 or more games in 29 seasons, compiling a career record of 902-371.
Indiana forced Knight out in 2000 for violating a “zero tolerance” behavior policy. He was grabbing the arm of a freshman student who he said greeted him by his last name. It was the final transgression on a long list, which included his most infamous incident — throwing a chair during a Purdue game — and accusations of numerous physical confrontations.
The most notable involved Knight apparently choking player Neil Reed in a practice in 1997.
Knight then left to become the basketball coach at Texas Tech in 2001. It was six months after being fired by Indiana for what school officials there called a “pattern of unacceptable behavior.”
In Knight’s six full years at Tech, he led the Red Raiders to five 20-win seasons, a first at the school. Knight passed former North Carolina coach Dean Smith as the then-winningest Division I men’s coach on Jan. 1, 2007, getting career win No. 880. To celebrate the milestone Knight chose the song “My Way” by Frank Sinatra, a mantra for how he navigated his personal and professional worlds.
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