On Wednesday, Bob Knight, an iconic figure in college basketball coaching, passed away at the age of 83. Knight’s illustrious career included three national championships and five Final Four appearances, all during his impressive 29-season tenure at Indiana University.
His coaching journey began in 1965 with Army, followed by his appointment as head coach of the Indiana Hoosiers in 1971, a position he held until 2000. Later, he took the reins at Texas Tech, where he coached from 2001 to 2008.
A statement on his website announced his passing at his Bloomington home, surrounded by his family, expressing gratitude for the outpouring of thoughts and prayers. It also emphasized Coach Knight’s wish for a private family gathering, which was respected. He is remembered as a cherished Husband, Father, Coach, and Friend.
Bob Knight’s impact on the basketball world was profound, earning him induction into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1991 and later into the College Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006. While his coaching success on the court was undeniable, Knight was not without controversy, notably his chair-throwing incident. He was relieved of his coaching duties in 2000 due to multiple physical confrontations deemed unacceptable by the university.
In a surprising turn of events, Knight returned to Indiana University in 2020 for a ceremony in his honor, receiving a warm ovation from the fans.
On the basketball court, Knight’s legacy shines brightly. His career coaching record of 902-371 ranks him sixth among all Division I men’s college basketball coaches in terms of wins.
Following his coaching career, Knight worked as an analyst for ESPN from 2008 to 2015. He guided his teams to the NCAA March Madness tournament 24 times during his tenure at Indiana and led the 1984 U.S. Olympic team to a gold medal in Los Angeles.
Knight’s own playing career at Ohio State included winning a national championship in 1960. He is one of only three individuals to both play for and coach a national champion, joining the ranks of Dean Smith and Joe B. Hall. Additionally, he holds the unique distinction of being the only coach to secure a national title, the NIT championship, an Olympic gold medal, and a Pan-Am gold medal.