HOF Coach Bob Knight Dies at 83
Bob Knight, whose Hall of Fame career was highlighted by three national titles at Indiana -- one capping an undefeated season not since matched -- and countless on-court outbursts, has died. He was 83.
Knight's family made the announcement Wednesday night. He was hospitalized with an illness in April and had been in poor health for several years.
"It is with heavy hearts that we share that Coach Bob Knight passed away at his home in Bloomington surrounded by his family," the statement said. "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."
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 at Indiana, including 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.
Knight won 20 or more games in a season 29 times, compiling a career record of 902-371.
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. And, to no surprise, it came with controversy. Knight kept Steve Alford, the leader of Knight's last national championship team in 1987, on his squad while cutting the likes of future Hall of Famers Charles Barkley and John Stockton
Nicknamed "The General," Knight was eventually forced out at Indiana in 2000 for violating a "zero tolerance" behavior policy by grabbing the arm of a freshman student whom 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.
In Knight's six full years at Texas 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 January 1, 2007, getting career win No. 880.
Knight resigned as Texas Tech's basketball coach in the middle of the 2008-09 season, his 42nd year as a head coach, and walked away from college basketball. He later worked as a college basketball analyst for ESPN.
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Gallery Credit: Brian Budzynski