College basketball coaching legend Bob Knight passes away at 83

Former Texas Tech head basketball coach Bob Knight passed away on Wednesday at the age of 83.

"Texas Tech joins college basketball fans across the country who mourn the passing of legendary head coach Bob Knight. Coach Knight, from his 902 career wins, three national titles and 24 NCAA Tournament appearances, will forever be remembered as one of the top coaches in not only Texas Tech history but all of college basketball. He truly changed the game with not only his motion offense but his insistence that his teams be defined by their defense. His impact was felt off the court, too, as he was a profound supporter of student-athletes receiving a quality education, which was evident by his teams annually producing a near-perfect graduation rate. Coach Knight's impact on our basketball program will forever be cherished as one of the greatest tenures in our history. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Knight family during this difficult time."

"With the passing of Coach Knight, Texas Tech University mourns the loss of an iconic figure in the world of college athletics," Texas Tech President Dr. Lawrence Schovanec said. "We were fortunate to be the beneficiary of his impact and success, and we offer our deepest condolences to his wife and sons. Coach Knight's legacy will forever live on in those who had the privilege of knowing him as we did."

Knight's family made the announcement of his passing on social media on Wednesday night, saying he was surrounded by family members at his home in Bloomington, Indiana.

Knight was among the winningest coaches in the sport, finishing his career with 902 victories in 42 seasons at Army, Indiana and Tech. He also coached the U.S. Olympic team to a gold medal in 1984.

Knight led the Red Raiders from 2001-08 where he had an impressive 138-82 record, including five seasons of 20-plus wins. He earned NABC District Coach of the Year during the 2001-02 season after leading Tech to a 23-9 record in his first season in Lubbock and led his 2004-05 to a 22-11 record and the NCAA Sweet 16. The Red Raiders advanced to the NCAA Tournament four times under Knight, reaching the 2005 Sweet 16 after earning wins over UCLA and Gonzaga to open the tournament. Knight passed former North Carolina coach Dean Smith as the then-winningest Division I men's coach Jan. 1, 2007, getting career win No. 880 with a 70-68 Red Raider win over New Mexico and the United Supermarkets Arena.

"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."

Knight was born on Oct. 25, 1940, in Orrville, Ohio and was a prep basketball, baseball and football star at Orrville High School. While a player at Ohio State, his teams compiled an overall record of 78-6. The Buckeyes won the national title in 1960 (Knight was 0-for-1 with one personal foul in a 75-55 win over California in the title game and averaged 3.7 points as a sub that season), and captured Big Ten titles during all three of Knight's seasons.
After his college career ended, he went into coaching, and was an Army assistant when he was elevated to head coach, succeeding Tates Locke.

Knight spent six years (1965-71) at Army, going 102-50, then moved to Indiana, where his Hoosiers went 662-239 from 1971-00.

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, 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.

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.

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. 

Dan Butcher

Dan Butcher (aka HP Pundit) is not a Democrat or Republican. He is a free thinking independent bringing you news and commentary with a dose of much needed common sense.

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