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Basketball Hall Of Fame Coach, Bobby Knight Dies At 83

Basketball Hall Of Fame Coach, Bobby Knight Dies At 83

Basketball Hall of Famer Bobby Knight whose strict style of coaching introduced a whole new ball game in college basketball has died at his home in Bloomington, Ind., according to a statement released by his family. He was 83.

Knight was one of the United States’ best college coaches, with more than 900 wins by the end of his career.

His record earned many admirers and nicknames. To his fans, he was called “the General.” 

But he also had a temper that always aired on screen. He was very blunt and sometimes, his temper allowed room for violent behavior which tainted his achievements. 

Sports writer John Feinstein, who profiled Knight and the Hoosiers in his book A Season on the Brink, spoke with NPR in 2008, after Knight had retired.

“When he was good, there was no one better than Bob Knight. He was generous. He cared about his players. He graduated his players. He was the best,” said Feinstein. “When he was bad, there were few worse.”

He was born Robert Montgomery Knight on Oct. 25, 1940, in Massillon, Ohio, and he grew up in Orrville. 

He played basketball in high school and college; he played for Ohio State University when the Buckeyes won the NCAA championship in 1960.

At age 24, Knight was the youngest varsity coach in NCAA history. In 1971, Indiana University hired him, and he worked there for 29 years.

He was very keen on Academics as well as sports. Nearly 80% of his players graduated during Knight’s time at Indiana which was a significant gap from the National Average for Division 1 schools. 

Indiana’s current head coach, Mike Woodson who played under Knight in the 1970s had good things to say about the Hall of Famer. 

“He taught me how to play the game of basketball from a fundamental standpoint,” said Woodson. 

“He taught me how to be a man on and off the floor, and that was huge for me coming out of the inner cities of Indianapolis.”

Knight was the leader of the U.S. teams that won gold medals at the 1979 Pan American Games and the 1984 Olympics.

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