Bob Knight
Bob Knight in 2008
Biographical details
Born (1940-10-25) October 25, 1940 (age 83)
Massillon, Ohio
Playing career
Position(s)Point guard
Head coaching record
Overall902–371 (.709)
Accomplishments and honors
As a player:
NCAA Division I Tournament Championship
Regional Championships - Final Four (3)
(1960, 1961, 1962)
Big Ten Regular Season Championship (3)
(1960, 1961, 1962)
As a head coach:
NCAA Division I Tournament Championship (3)
(1976, 1981, 1987)
Regional Championships - Final Four (5)
Olympic Games
(1984 Gold Medal)
Big Ten Regular Season Championship (11)
NIT Tournament Championship (1979)
Henry Iba Award (2)
(1975, 1989)
Naismith College Coach of the Year (1987)
Clair Bee Coach of the Year Award (2002)
Big Ten Coach of the Year (6)
Naismith Award for Men's Outstanding Contribution to Basketball (2007)
Basketball Hall of Fame
Inducted in 1991
Medal record
Head Coach for  United States
men's national basketball team
Olympic Games
Gold medal – first place 1984 Los Angeles Men's Basketball

Robert Montgomery "Bob" Knight (born October 25, 1940) is a retired American basketball coach. Nicknamed "The General", Knight won 902 NCAA Division I men's college basketball games, second all-time to his former player, Mike Krzyzewski. He is most well known as the head coach of the Indiana Hoosiers from 1971–2000. He also coached briefly at Texas Tech (2001–2008) and at West Point (1965–1971).[1]

While at Indiana, Knight led his teams to three NCAA championships, one National Invitation Tournament (NIT) championship, and 11 Big Ten Conference championships. He received the National Coach of the Year honor four times and the Big Ten Coach of the Year honor six times.[2] In 1984, he coached the USA men's Olympic team to a gold medal, becoming one of only three basketball coaches to win an NCAA title, NIT title, and an Olympic gold medal.[3]

Knight was one of college basketball's most successful and innovative coaches, having perfected and popularized the motion offense. He has also been praised for running clean programs (none of his teams was ever sanctioned by the NCAA for recruiting violations) and graduating most of his players. However, Knight has also attracted controversy; he famously threw a chair across the court during a game, was once arrested for assault, and regularly displayed a combative nature during encounters with members of the press. Knight also still commands a following among fans of the Indiana Hoosiers basketball program.[4]

In 2008, Knight joined ESPN as a men's college basketball studio analyst during Championship Week and for coverage of the NCAA Tournament.[5] For the 2008–09 season, he joined ESPN as a part-time color commentator as well as continuing his studio analyst duties.

Playing career

Knight was born in Massillon, Ohio and grew up in Orrville, Ohio.[6] Knight began his career as a player at Orrville High School. He continued under Basketball Hall of Fame coach Fred Taylor at Ohio State University in 1958. He was a reserve forward on the Buckeyes' 1960 national championship team, which featured future Hall of Fame players John Havlicek and Jerry Lucas. In addition to lettering in basketball at Ohio State, it has been claimed that Knight also lettered in football and baseball;[7] however, the official list of Ohio State football letter earners does not include Knight.[8] Knight graduated with a degree in history and government in 1962.

Coaching career


After graduation in 1962, Knight coached junior varsity basketball at Cuyahoga Falls High School in Ohio for one year.[9] Knight then enlisted in the U.S. Army and accepted an assistant coaching position at Army in 1963, where, two years later, he was named the head coach at the relatively young age of 24. In six seasons at West Point, Knight won 102 games, with his first as a head coach coming against Worcester Polytechnic Institute. One of his players was Hall of Fame and current Duke Blue Devils head coach Mike Krzyzewski.

Season records at West Point under Knight

Statistics overview
Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Army Black Knights (Independent) (1965–1971)
1965–1966 Army 18–8 NIT Semifinals
1966–1967 Army 13–8 8–3
1967–1968 Army 20–5 NIT First Round
1968–1969 Army 18–10 NIT Semifinals
1969–1970 Army 22–6 NIT Semifinals
1970–1971 Army 11–13
Army: 102–50 N/A
Total: 102–50

      National champion         Postseason invitational champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion


When Indiana University was seeking a new coach in 1971, they turned to Knight. Knight was given the nickname "The General" by former University of Detroit and Detroit Pistons coach-turned-broadcaster Dick Vitale.

Indiana reached the Final Four in 1973, losing to UCLA. In 1975, the Hoosiers were undefeated and the number one team in the nation, when leading scorer Scott May suffered a broken arm in a win over arch-rival Purdue. Indiana subsequently lost 92–90 to Kentucky in the regional finals of the NCAA tournament, with May playing with a heavily-braced arm.

In 1976, the Hoosiers were undefeated at 32–0 and won the championship, beating Michigan 86–68 in the title game. Immediately after the game, Knight lamented that "it should have been two." No other Division I men's team has had an undefeated season including a championship since.[citation needed]

Knight's Hoosiers also won championships in 1981, with future NBA and Hall of Fame point guard Isiah Thomas, beating North Carolina 63–50; and in 1987 with guard Steve Alford, beating Syracuse 74–73 on a last-second shot by Keith Smart.

"When my time on Earth is gone, and my activities here are past, I want they bury me upside down, and my critics can kiss my ass."

Attributed to Bob Knight, March 1994[10]

Indiana won the 1979 NIT championship, and Knight led the U.S. national team to a gold medal in the Olympic Games as coach of the Michael Jordan-led 1984 team (coaches do not receive medals in the Olympics). He also won 11 Big Ten Conference titles. Knight is one of only three coaches to win NCAA, NIT, and Olympic championships, joining Dean Smith of North Carolina, and Pete Newell of California. Knight is the only coach to win the NCAA, the NIT, the Olympic Gold and the Pan-Am Gold.

The Indiana Hoosiers were undefeated in Big Ten Conference play from 1974 to 1976, and lost only one game during the period (the aforementioned regional final against Kentucky).

In 1991, Knight was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame in his second year of eligibility. After he wasn't elected in his first year of eligibility, Knight told the committee to take his name off the list, but they denied his request [citation needed].

From 1991-93, the Hoosiers posted 87 victories, the most by any Big Ten team in a three-year span, breaking the mark of 86 set by Coach Knight's Indiana teams of 1974-76. Teams from these three seasons spent all but two of the 53 poll weeks in the top 10, and 38 of them in the top 5. They captured two Big Ten crowns in 1990-91 and 1992-93, and during the 1991-92 season reached the Final Four. During the 1992-93 season, the 31-4 Hoosiers finished the season at the top of the AP Poll, but were defeated by Kansas in the Elite Eight.

Knight with young fans in Columbus, Ohio in the summer of 1988

On March 14, 2000, just before Indiana was to begin play in the NCAA tournament, the CNN/SI network ran a piece on Knight in which former player Neil Reed claimed he was choked by Knight in a 1997 practice.[11] Knight denied the claims in the story. However, on April 11, 2000, CNN Sports Illustrated aired a tape of an IU practice from 1997 that appeared to show Knight placing his hand on the neck of Neil Reed.[12]

In May of that year, Indiana University president Myles Brand announced that he had adopted a "zero tolerance" policy with regard to Bob Knight's behavior.[13]

In September 2000, IU freshman Kent Harvey reportedly said, "Hey, Knight, what's up?" to Knight. According to Harvey, Knight then grabbed him by the arm and lectured him for not showing proper respect.[12]

Brand stated that this incident was only one of numerous complaints that occurred after the zero-tolerance policy had been placed on Knight. He asked Knight to resign on September 10. When Knight refused, however, Brand relieved him of his coaching duties effective immediately. Later that evening, a crowd of thousands of students swarmed Bloomington in protest, burning Brand in effigy.[12]

Harvey was supported by some and vilified by many who claim he intentionally set up Knight. Kent Harvey's stepfather, Mark Shaw, is a former Bloomington-area radio talk show host and Knight critic.[14]

On September 13, Knight said goodbye to a crowd of some 6,000 supporters in Dunn Meadow at Indiana University. He asked that they not hold a grudge against Harvey and that they let Harvey get on with his education and his life.[15] Knight's firing made national headlines including the cover of Sports Illustrated and around the clock coverage on ESPN. It was also mentioned on major news programs such as CBS News and CNN.

Season records at Indiana under Knight

Statistics overview
Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Indiana Hoosiers (Big Ten Conference) (1971–2000)
1971–1972 Indiana 17–8 9–5 T-3rd NIT First Round
1972–1973 Indiana 22–6 11–3 1st NCAA Final Four
1973–1974 Indiana 23–5 12–2 T-1st CCAT Champions
1974–1975 Indiana 31–1 18–0 1st NCAA Elite Eight
1975–1976 Indiana 32–0 18–0 1st NCAA Champions
1976–1977 Indiana 16–11 11–7 5th
1977–1978 Indiana 21–8 12–6 2nd NCAA Sweet Sixteen
1978–1979 Indiana 22–12 10–8 5th NIT Champions
1979–1980 Indiana 21–8 13–5 1st NCAA Sweet Sixteen
1980–1981 Indiana 26–9 14–4 1st NCAA Champions
1981–1982 Indiana 19–10 12–6 T-2nd NCAA Second Round
1982–1983 Indiana 24–6 13–5 1st NCAA Sweet Sixteen
1983–1984 Indiana 22–9 13–5 3rd NCAA Elite Eight
1984–1985 Indiana 19–14 7–11 7th NIT Finals
1985–1986 Indiana 21–8 13–5 2nd NCAA First Round
1986–1987 Indiana 30–4 15–3 T-1st NCAA Champions
1987–1988 Indiana 19–10 11–7 5th NCAA First Round
1988–1989 Indiana 27–8 15–3 1st NCAA Sweet Sixteen
1989–1990 Indiana 18–11 8–10 7th NCAA First Round
1990–1991 Indiana 29–5 15–3 T-1st NCAA Sweet Sixteen
1991–1992 Indiana 27–7 14–4 2nd NCAA Final Four
1992–1993 Indiana 31–4 17–1 1st NCAA Elite Eight
1993–1994 Indiana 21–9 12–6 3rd NCAA Sweet Sixteen
1994–1995 Indiana 19–12 11–7 T-3rd NCAA First Round
1995–1996 Indiana 19–12 12–6 T-2nd NCAA First Round
1996–1997 Indiana 22–11 9–9 T-6th NCAA First Round
1997–1998 Indiana 20–12 9–7 T-5th NCAA Second Round
1998–1999 Indiana 23–11 9–7 T-3rd NCAA Second Round
1999–2000 Indiana 20–9 10–6 5th NCAA First Round
Indiana: 662–239 353–151
Total: 662–239

      National champion         Postseason invitational champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion


Texas Tech

Knight watches his team practice in November 2007.

After taking the next season off, all the while on the lookout for vacancies, Knight accepted the head coaching job at Texas Tech, though his hiring was opposed by a group of faculty led by Walter Schaller.[18] At the press conference introducing him, Knight quipped, "This is without question the most comfortable red sweater I've had on in six years."[19]

Knight quickly improved the program, which had not been to an NCAA tournament since 1996. He led the Red Raiders to postseason appearances in each of his first four years at the school (three NCAA Championship tournaments and one NIT). After a rough 2006 season, the team improved in 2007, finishing 21–13 and again making it to the NCAA Championship tournament, where it lost to Boston College in the first round. The best performance by the Red Raiders under Knight came in 2005 when they advanced as far as the Sweet Sixteen. In both 2006 and 2007 under Knight, Texas Tech defeated two Top 10-ranked teams in consecutive weeks. During Knight's first six years at Texas Tech, the Red Raiders won 126 games, an average of 21 wins per season.

Knight has a high regard for education and has made generous donations to Texas Tech. On November 29, 2007, the Tech library honored this with A Legacy of Giving: The Bob Knight Exhibit. When Knight came to the school in 2001, he gave $10,000, the first gift to the Coach Knight Library Fund which has now collected over $300,000.[20]

On February 4, 2008, Bob Knight retired as head coach of the Texas Tech Red Raiders. His son Pat Knight, the head coach designate since 2005, was immediately named as his successor. The younger Knight stated that, after many years of coaching, his father was exhausted and ready to retire.[21] Just after achieving his 900th win, Knight handed the job over to Pat in the mid-season in part to allow him to get acquainted with coaching the team earlier, instead of having him wait until October, the start of the next season.[22]

According to Knight's biographer, Bob Hammel, Knight is expected to continue living in Lubbock.[23]

Season records at Texas Tech under Knight

Statistics overview
Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Texas Tech Red Raiders (Big 12 Conference) (2001–2008)
2001–2002 Texas Tech 23–9 10–6 T–3rd NCAA First Round
2002–2003 Texas Tech 22–13 6–10 T–7th NIT Semifinals
2003–2004 Texas Tech 23–11 9–7 T–5th NCAA Second Round
2004–2005 Texas Tech 22–11 10–6 4th NCAA Sweet Sixteen
2005–2006 Texas Tech 15–17 6–10 T–7th
2006–2007 Texas Tech 21–13 9–7 5th NCAA First Round
2007–2008 Texas Tech 12–8* 3–3* T–6th*
Texas Tech: 138–82 53–49

(*) Indicates record/standing at time
of resignation from Texas Tech.

Total: 138–82

      National champion         Postseason invitational champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion


Basketball philosophy

Bob Knight's motion offense emphasizes post players setting screens and perimeter players passing the ball until a teammate becomes open for an uncontested jump shot or lay-up. This requires players to be unselfish, disciplined, and effective in the setting and use of screens to get open. On defense, players are required both to tenaciously guard opponents man-to-man and to help teammates when needed, although Knight has also incorporated using a zone defense periodically after eschewing that defense for the first two decades of his coaching career.[25]

Coaching victories and awards

On January 1, 2007, Knight achieved his 880th career win at Texas Tech, passing retired North Carolina coach Dean Smith for the most career NCAA Division I men's college basketball victories. The game was a 70–68 victory by the Red Raiders over the New Mexico Lobos. Knight trails both Adolph Rupp and Dean Smith in win differential, which is the difference between wins and losses and reflects Knight's lower lifetime winning percentage, as it took Knight 41 seasons and 100 extra games to achieve the record, compared with Smith's 36. However, Knight overtook Smith at a younger age (he was also one of the youngest or the youngest to reach milestones 200 (age 35), 300 (age 40), 400 (age 44), 500 (age 48) and 600 (age 52).) Knight chalked up win number 900 when the Red Raiders defeated the ninth-ranked Texas A&M Aggies, 68–53, on January 16, 2008.[26]

Knight is also the only coach to win the NCAA, the NIT, the Olympic Gold, and the Pan American Games Gold.[27]

The Red Raiders' participation in the 2007 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament marked another record. With their inclusion as the #10 seed in the East Regional, Knight became the coach to lead his team to more NCAA Tournaments than any other.[27] However, the team lost to Boston College in the first round by a score of 84–75.

In 1987, Knight was the first person to be honored with the Naismith Men's College Coach of the Year Award. Five years later, he received the Clair Bee Coach of the Year Award. And, in 2007, he was the recipient of the Naismith Award for Men's Outstanding Contribution to Basketball.[28] Knight was nominated to receive a 2007 ESPY Award in the category of Best Record Breaking Performance but was not chosen as the winner.[27]

On May 29, 2008, Army Athletic Director Kevin Anderson announced that Knight would be one of ten persons inducted into the Army Sports Hall of Fame.[29]

On September 20, 2008, Bob Knight was inducted into the Army Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2008 in a ceremony during Army's home football game against Akron, at Michie Stadium, West Point, New York.

Years School Record
1965-1971 Army Black Knights 102-50
1971-2000 Indiana Hoosiers 662-239
2001-2008 Texas Tech Red Raiders 138-82
1965–2008 Total 902-371


Knight students

Main article: Coaching legacy of Bob Knight

A number of assistant coaches, players, and managers of Knight have gone on to be coaches.






Books about Bob Knight

Books about Knight include A Season on the Brink (ISBN 0-02-537230-0), by John Feinstein; Bob Knight: His Own Man, by Joan Mellen (ISBN 0-380-70809-4); and Playing for Knight: My Six Seasons with Bobby Knight, (ISBN 0-671-72441-X), by former player and current New Mexico head basketball coach Steve Alford.

In Bob Knight, His Own Man, Mellen characterized Feinstein's book as being banal (21).

In 2002, Knight and longtime friend and sports journalist Bob Hammel wrote his biography, Knight: My Story (ISBN 0-312-31117-6.)

In 2006, Bob Knight: An Unauthorized Biography, written by Steve Delsohn and Mark Heisler, was released. (ISBN 0-7432-4348-X)

Film and television

Blue Chips is a 1994 feature film about Pete Bell, a volatile but honest college basketball coach under pressure to win who decides to blatantly violate NCAA rules to field a competitive team after a sub-par season. It starred Nick Nolte as Bell and NBA star Shaquille O'Neal as Neon Bodeaux, a once-in-a-lifetime player Bell woos to his school with gifts and other perks. The coach's temper and wardrobe seem to be modeled after Knight's,[citation needed] but at no time has Knight been known to illegally recruit. Knight himself coaches against Nolte in the film's climactic game.

In 2002, veteran character actor Brian Dennehy portrayed Knight in A Season on the Brink, a TV film adapted from John Feinstein's book. It was ESPN's first feature-length film.

Knight made a cameo appearance as himself in the 2003 film Anger Management.

In 2008, Knight appeared in a commercial as part of Volkswagen's Das Auto series where Max, a 1964 black Beetle interviews famous people. When Knight talked about Volkswagen winning the best resale value award in 2008, Max replied, "At least one of us is winning a title this year." This prompted Knight to throw his chair off the stage and walk out saying, "I may not be retired."[46]

Knight also made an appearance in a TV commercial for Guitar Hero: Metallica with fellow coaches Mike Krzyzewski, Rick Pitino, and Roy Williams, in a parody of Tom Cruise in Risky Business.[47]

In 2009, Knight produced 3 instructional coaching DVD libraries—on motion offense, man-to-man defense, and instilling mental toughness—with Championship Productions.

Knight School

Main article: Knight School (TV series)

Knight was the central character in a reality show for ESPN. The show, titled Knight School, followed a handful of Texas Tech students as they competed for the right to join the Red Raiders as a non-scholarship player.

See also


  1. ^ Walker, Jeff (2008-02-04). "Exclusive: Knight speaks about retirement decision". Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. Retrieved 2008-02-04.
  2. ^[dead link]
  3. ^ "Bob Knight resigns". Retrieved 2010-10-11.
  4. ^ 11:50 p.m. ET (2008-02-15). "Pat Knight to mine for players in Indiana". Retrieved 2010-10-11.((cite web)): CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  5. ^ "Bob Knight joins ESPN for Championship Week and NCAA Tournament". 2008-02-29. Retrieved 2010-10-11.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g "Bob Knight". Retrieved 2010-10-11.
  7. ^ "Howstuffworks "Bob Knight"". Retrieved 2010-10-11.
  8. ^ "Tradition and History: Ohio State Letterwinners" (PDF). Ohio State 2007 Spring Football Media Guide. Ohio State University Athletics. p. 148. Retrieved 2007-10-31.
  9. ^ Deford, Frank (1981-01-26). "The Rabbit Hunter". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 2008-05-30.
  10. ^ "Why Has Texas Tech Hired Bobby Knight?". Larry King Live. 2001-03-26. ((cite episode)): External link in |transcripturl= (help); Unknown parameter |serieslink= ignored (|series-link= suggested) (help); Unknown parameter |transcripturl= ignored (|transcript-url= suggested) (help)
  11. ^ "The Knight Tape: Video captures encounter between IU coach, ex-player". CNN Sports Illustrated. 2000-09-09. Retrieved 2008-09-29.
  12. ^ a b c - Fired Bob Knight calms angry student demonstrators - September 11, 2000[dead link]
  13. ^ "Bob Knight - Former Indiana University basketball coach". Retrieved 2010-10-11.
  14. ^ Threats Follow Knight Dismissal -
  15. ^ "Internet Archive: Details: Coach Bob Knight's Farewell Address to Indiana University". Retrieved 2010-10-11.
  16. ^ "Bob Knight career timeline". ESPN. 2001-03-23. Retrieved 2009-03-10.
  17. ^ a b
  18. ^ Robbins, Liz (2001-03-15). "COLLEGE BASKETBALL; At Texas Tech, Some Professors Balk at Knight". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-04-26.
  19. ^ Drape, Joe (2001-03-24). "COLLEGE BASKETBALL; Texas Tech Will Be Knight's New Home". New York Times. Retrieved 2010-10-11.
  20. ^ "A Knight's Tale: Tech library honors coach Knight for donations, generosity - La Vida". Retrieved 2010-10-11.
  21. ^ Davis, Seth (2008-02-05). "'He was just worn out':Pat Knight sheds light on father's decision to leave". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 2008-02-05.
  22. ^ "Pat Knight sheds light on father's decision to leave". CNN. 2008-02-05. Retrieved 2010-04-26.
  23. ^ Evans, Thayer and Pete Thamel (2008-02-04). "Bob Knight Resigns as Coach of Texas Tech". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-02-04.
  24. ^ "Big 12 Record Book" (PDF) (Press release). Big 12 Sports. Retrieved 2008-02-04.
  25. ^ "Tribute to Coach Bob Knight present by the ''Lubbock-Avalanche-Journal''". Knight 880. Retrieved 2010-10-11.
  26. ^ "FREE Cubs & Sox apps". Chicago Tribune.
  27. ^ a b c "Bob Knight nominated for ESPY Award". 2007-06-27. Retrieved 2007-06-28.
  28. ^ "Knight to receive Naismith award". The Daily Toreador. 2007-03-30. Retrieved 2007-03-30.
  29. ^ "Bob Knight Highlights Hall of Fame Class of 2008". Texas Tech Athletics. Retrieved 2008-05-29.
  30. ^ "Recapping the rivalry". Retrieved 22 March 2012.
  31. ^ Atlanta Constitution Journal. 28 February 1982. ((cite news)): Missing or empty |title= (help)
  32. ^ Laudeman, Tev (8 December 1974). Louisville Courier Journal. ((cite news)): Missing or empty |title= (help)
  33. ^ Delsohn, Steve (2006). Bob Knight: The Unauthorized Biography. Simon & Schuster. p. 96.
  34. ^ "ESPN Classic Sportscentury Biography". Retrieved 2010-10-11.
  35. ^ "CNNSI video archive of chair-throwing event in Quicktime". Retrieved 2010-10-11.
  36. ^ "Bob Knight's outburst timeline". USA Today. 2006-11-14. Retrieved 2010-04-26.
  37. ^ (Knight: My Story, pg. 297.)
  38. ^ " - Page2 - Outside the Lines - Bob Knight: The Final Crisis?". Retrieved 2010-10-11.
  39. ^ "Bob Knight interview". The Indianapolis Star.
  40. ^ Keith Whitmire (2006-03-02). "Big 12 won't take action against Knight". The Dallas Morning News.
  41. ^ Chad, Norman (2006-11-20). "Viewing the Knight file, through fact and fiction". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2007-01-01.
  42. ^ Brandon George (2007-11-29). "Bob Knight's hunting dispute on video". The Dallas Morning News.
  43. ^ "Bob Knight confronted during hunting trip". The Dallas Morning News. 2008-02-04. Retrieved 2008-09-29.
  44. ^ "Kentucky responds to Bob Knight's 'blatantly erroneous' comments". USA Today. 2011-04-19.
  45. ^ "Bob Knight apologizes to John Calipari, Kentucky basketball". USA Today. 2011-04-19.
  46. ^ "Angry Bob Knight Yells At Volkswagen". Jalopnik. Retrieved 2008-09-29.
  47. ^ van der Horst, Roger (2009-03-31). "Roy, Coach K take a turn as 'Guitar Heroes'". The News & Observer. Retrieved 2009-03-31. [dead link]