Bob Knight, Legendary Indiana Basketball Coach, Passes Away At Age 83
From chairs to championships, all aspects of Bob Knight’s legacy helped shape a generation of college basketball players, coaches, and fans. The legendary Indiana coach passed away at his home in Bloomington, Indiana on Wednesday. He was 83 years old.
Long-time college basketball fans will certainly remember when Knight threw a chair on the court as the hallmark technical foul that got him ejected against Purdue in 1985. He walked to the locker room amid cheers from the IU fans, but Knight was so much more than temper tantrums. He was a beloved figure despite his tough exterior and some unpolished moments. Those complicated nuances of the Bobby Knight persona were well documented over the last half-century. As I type this, I can’t find a single photo of the Hoosier icon where he’s smiling for the camera (and there are hundreds of photos). That wasn’t Knight. He wasn’t one for the photo ops or the flare and pageantry, but rather the toughness, determination, and will to win. His Hall of Fame resume speaks for itself. No smiles necessary.
Bobby Knight’s Hall of Fame Resume
Knight became the youngest coach of a Division I program in 1965 when he took over Army at the age of 24. That’s where he earned the nickname “The General.” Later, at Indiana, he amassed 24 NCAA Tournament appearances in 29 seasons, winning three national championships and etching his name atop the NCAA record books.
The first of those titles came in 1976 when the Hoosiers went 32-0 — the last perfect undefeated season in men’s college basketball (47 years). A few teams have sniffed that record, but no one has replicated it. Combined with his stints at Army and Texas Tech, Knight coached 43 total seasons and impacted multiple generations of basketball players. He had the most wins (902) of any Division I coach when he left the game (now 6th all-time). He also won a championship as a player at Ohio State.
Rest in peace, Bobby Knight. A Hoosier legend… The General. May your chair in heaven be Crimson and Cream, and ready for anything.
Photo: Justin Casterline / Getty Images