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Legendary Basketball Coach Bob Knight Dies At 83


Bob Knight has passed away. His Hall of Fame career was capped by three national titles at Indiana, one of which ended an unbeaten season that has never been topped, as well as numerous on-court outbursts. 83 years old.

The news was released by Knight’s family on Wednesday evening. He had been ailing for a number of years and was admitted to the hospital in April.

“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.”

When Knight broke in at Army at the age of 24, he became the youngest coach at a Division I school in 1965. Nonetheless, he left his imprint at Indiana, where he set a school record with 661 victories and qualified for the NCAA tournament 24 times in 29 seasons. When Indiana went unbeaten in 1976—a feat no team has since accomplished—Knight won his first NCAA title.

“One of the things that he said to our 1976 team, which I was fortunate enough to be a part of, was that you may never see another team like this again,” Indiana University board of trustees chair Quinn Buckner said in a statement. “Well, I don’t know that we will ever see another coach like him again.”

Knight finished with a career record of 902-371 after winning 20 games or more 29 times in a season.

He was the coach of the last American amateur team to win an Olympic gold medal in 1984 when they competed in Los Angeles. It was not unexpected that it was met with opposition. Knight removed players like future Hall of Famers Charles Barkley and John Stockton, but he maintained Steve Alford, the captain of his 1987 team that won its final national championship.

“I am so blessed that he saw something in me as a basketball player,” Mike Woodson, former Hoosiers player and Indiana’s current coach, said in a statement. “He influenced my life in ways I could never repay. As he did with all of his players, he always challenged me to get the most out of myself as a player and more importantly, as a person. His record as a basketball coach speaks for itself. He will be remembered as one of the greatest ever.”

After being dubbed “The General,” Knight was ultimately expelled from Indiana University in 2000 for allegedly grasping the arm of a freshman who had addressed him by last name in violation of a “zero tolerance” behavior guideline. It was the last in a lengthy list of offenses that includes his most well-known moment—throwing a chair during a Purdue game—and claims of other violent altercations. The most famous one occurred in 1997 when Knight seemed to choke player Neil Reed during a drill.

Six months after being sacked by Indiana for a “pattern of unacceptable behavior,” Knight subsequently moved on to take a job as the basketball coach at Texas Tech in 2001.

Six months after being sacked by Indiana for a “pattern of unacceptable behavior,” Knight subsequently moved on to take a job as the basketball coach at Texas Tech in 2001.

Knight guided the Red Raiders to five 20-win seasons during his six years at Texas Tech, a first for the program. On January 1, 2007, Knight achieved career win No. 880, surpassing former North Carolina coach Dean Smith as the most successful Division I men’s coach at the time. Knight selected the Frank Sinatra song “My Way” to commemorate the milestone, which served as a motto for him while he balanced his personal and professional lives.

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