RED RAIDER HEAD COACH
In college basketball, the name Coach Bob Knight is synonymous with greatness and winning. Just take a glance at the Bob Knight file. The numbers and achievements that illustrate what he has done for the game of basketball are there for all to see.
Everyone knew Bob Knight would get the Red Raider program back to its winning ways. Many didn't think it could be done so successfully or so quickly. In his initial season, Texas Tech went from 11th in the Big 12 Conference to a tie for third and posted a +14 victory margin (9-19 in 2000-2001 to 23-9 in 2001-2002). Texas Tech's 23 wins in that initial season represented Coach Knight's 25th season of winning 20 or more games and were Tech's most single-season victories since the 1995-1996 season. The Red Raiders also earned an NCAA Tournament berth for the 11th time in the school's 77 years of fielding basketball teams and marked the 25th time Coach Knight has taken his teams to the NCAA Tournament.
In Coach Knight's second season, his Red Raiders stepped onto the court on November 7, 2002, for the first of two exhibition games, and by the time they walked off the court in Madison Square Garden on April 3, 2003, they were one of only three of the 327 Division I teams in the nation to have completed post-season play on a winning note. Texas Tech's 71-61 win over the University of Minnesota in the consolation game of the National Invitational Tournament brought closure to the season and another 20-win mark for the Raiders under Coach Bob Knight. The 2002-2003 season marked his eighth NIT appearance and the 34th time in his 37 years of coaching that his teams have played in post-season tournaments. According to Jeff Sagarin's NCAA national rankings, Texas Tech's final ranking of 28 made the Raiders the highest ranked team not to gain a spot in the 65-team field of the NCAA Tournament.
Texas Tech's third season with Bob Knight at the helm was another unqualified success. Overall, the squad won 23 games marking the first time in the school's history that the Red Raiders won at least 20 games in three consecutive seasons. Knight's Red Raiders have totaled 68-wins which eclipsed the former mark of 67-wins from the 1994-1997 seasons.
Andre Emmett, now with the NBA Memphis Grizzlies, became the leading scorer in the Big 12, Texas Tech's all-time leading scorer with 2,256 points, and the thirteenth Bob Knight player to earn All-America honors. Coach Knight has now taken his teams into post-season play a total of 35 times. Their eighth seed in the 2004 NCAA Tournament marked the first time Tech teams have earned invitations to post-season play in three successive seasons in school history. The Raiders defeated Charlotte 76-73 in Buffalo, New York, to become the first team to win an NCAA Tournament game since the 1976 team defeated Syracuse 69-56 in Denton, Texas. Bob Knight is among the youngest head coaches to have won 200, 300, 400, 500, 600, 700, and 800 career games. His 200th coaching victory, 93-56 over Georgia in 1976, came at the age of 35; the 300th win, 83-69 over Northwestern in 1980, came at age 40; the 400th win, 81-68 over Kentucky in December of 1984, came at age 44; the 500th win, 92-76 over Northwestern in January 1989, came at age 48; the 600th win, 75-67 over Iowa on January 6, 1993, came at the age of 52. He is the youngest coach to win 600 games, just a few months ahead of his good friend, the late Henry Iba. Victory number 700 arrived March 5, 1997, in a 70-66 victory over Wisconsin. At 62 years of age, Coach Knight became the youngest of the four coaches to ever reach the milestone of 800 victories.
Coach Knight achieved his 800th career victory with a 75-49 home court win over Nebraska on February 5, 2003. His current record, as measured by the NCAA, stands at 832 - 322. He stands at the pinnacle of the NCAA's "Winningest Active Division 1 Men's Basketball Coaches By Victories" and is third among the "Winningest Division 1 Men's Basketball Coaches of All-Time." His friend, Dean Smith, leads all coaches with an 879 career win mark. Adolph Rupp follows Smith with 876 wins. Tech's 79-69 win over Colorado in the 2004 Phillips 66 Big 12 Tournament moved him ahead of Jim Phelan's 830-career mark.
Knight owns a remarkable 68-32 record (.680) in post-season tournament play. Texas Tech's two wins in the Phillips 66 Big 12 Tournament were its first victories since the 1997 event. With an additional two wins in the 2002-2003 tournament, and a win in the 2003-2004 event, the Red Raiders are 6-8 in the seven-year event. As a sophomore, as a junior, and as a senior, Andre Emmett earned First Team All-Big 12 honors. Andre's accolades marked the 35th time that a Coach Knight player has earned First Team All-Conference honors.
During his six seasons at Army and his 29 years at Indiana University, he experienced nothing short of excellence! There are the wins, the conference titles, the national championships, and the exemplary graduation rate and player success after basketball. Most telling is the bond that exists between Coach Knight and those who have played for him.
Bob Knight is his own man, one who represents high principles, expectations and demands for his players, his coaching staff and, most of all, himself. But he is foremost an educator. His ability to teach young men the game of basketball and the game of life is one of his most noted characteristics.
Coach Knight has proven over and over again that he is the finest basketball coach in America. No other coach can cite NCAA and NIT championships and Olympic and Pan American gold medals among his achievements. There are only two coaches in the history of collegiate basketball who have won more than the three national championships Knight has won during his career. His coaching achievements were honored in May of 1991 when he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Only Coach Knight and former North Carolina head coach Dean Smith have both coached and played on NCAA championship teams - Knight at Ohio State in 1960; Smith at Kansas in 1952.
In 1989, Coach Knight became the winningest coach in Big Ten history. He went into the season with 212 conference wins, just one behind Purdue's Ward "Piggy" Lambert, and surpassed him, ironically enough, with a 74-73 win at Purdue. Knight's Big Ten winning percentage of .700 (353-151) is easily the league's all-time best.
Knight has a touch of genius about him. He has the uncanny ability to extract the full potential from his teams, whether the multi-talented like the 1975 and 1976 squads that went undefeated in Big Ten play or the 1980 team, which played without two top talents for most of the season and still emerged as Big Ten champions. The 1981 squad never lost sight of its ultimate goal and won the Big Ten and NCAA championships. The 1983 team, which lost scoring star Ted Kitchel to injury, then regrouped and blitzed three contenders for an outright Big Ten championship. The 1987 squad may have come the closest of any of the previous Knight teams to reaching their potential and capturing the national championship. And then there was the 1989 team, which won the Big Ten Championship and advanced to the NCAA Regionals after being picked by most to finish in the Big Ten's second division. The 1993 Big Ten champions, hampered by injuries, played with only nine players for most of the season while still going 17-1 in conference play and finishing the regular season ranked No. 1 in the country.
During Knight's 29 years at Indiana, the Hoosiers won an amazing 662 games, including 22 seasons of 20 or more wins, while losing but 239, a remarkable .735 winning percentage. There were some amazing accomplishments along the way.
In achieving undefeated regular seasons in 1975 and 1976, the Hoosiers won an unbelievable 37-consecutive Big Ten games. They hold the one, two, three, four, and five-year Big Ten records for most wins. During another stretch, the Hoosiers won 34-consecutive games overall and over a three-year period posted 67 victories in 68 outings. From 1973 through 1976, Indiana won four-consecutive Big Ten titles: back-to-back crowns in 1980 and 1981; a seventh title in 1987; and the ninth league championship in 1989, the 10th in 1991, and the 11th in 1993. The 11 conference championships tie for the most ever by a basketball coach in Big Ten history.
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.
It is in tournament play where the Knight genius shines. In 24 NCAA appearances, Hoosier teams under Bob Knight won 42 of 63 games (.667), winning titles in 1976, 1981, and 1987, while finishing third in 1973 and 1992. The Hoosiers won the first Collegiate Commissioner's Association championship in 1974. In 1979, the Hoosiers won the National Invitation Tournament championship in New York's famed Madison Square Garden and nearly added a second NIT title in 1985 before falling to UCLA in the championship game. They were one pass shy of going to the NIT Finals at the end of the 2002-2003 season.
Bob Knight logged a sterling 53-24 record in post-season tournament games while at Indiana, a .688 percentage. Additionally, his Hoosiers won 47 Holiday tournaments and at the start of the 1992-93 and 1996-97 seasons, captured the Preseason NIT title.
While at Indiana, a total of 23 different players under Coach Knight's tutelage received All-American and All-Big Ten honors. For 10-consecutive seasons, a player made the All-American Academic and All-Big Ten Academic Teams, and a total of 18 players were so honored. Nine Indiana players won 10 Big Ten Most Valuable Player honors. Scott May was a two-time winner (1975 & 1976) and in 1976 was named National Player of the Year. Brian Evans won the Big Ten award in 1996, while Calbert Chaney won in 1993 and was named the National Player of the Year that season.
Six Knight-coached players have served on Olympic men's basketball teams, four of which earned coveted gold medals. Two of those Olympians - Mike Silliman of Army in 1968 and Quinn Buckner of Indiana in 1976 - served as team captains. Three other Hoosiers played on the 1979 U.S. Pan American gold medal team, which Knight coached.
Knight's coaching genius has not gone unnoticed. He won the Big Ten's Coach of the Year award three times in four years (1973, 1975, and 1976) and added three more awards (1980, 1981, and 1989). In 1975 he was a unanimous selection as National Coach of the Year, an honor he was accorded again in 1976 by Associated Press, United Press International, and Basketball Weekly. In 1987 he was picked as the Naismith Coach of the Year. In 1989 he garnered National Coach of the Year honors by the AP, UPI, and the United States Basketball Writers Association.
Following the 2001-2002 season, Coach Knight was also named Coach of the Year by Basketball Times and The Dallas Morning News. Both the USBWA and the NABC also selected him as the Coach of the Year for their respective districts. Bob Knight also received The Coach Clair Bee Award, which honors the Division One Men's Basketball Coach who has made the most significant contribution to basketball during that season. Always the educator, Coach Knight takes immense pride in the graduation rate of his players. All but two of his four-year players completed degrees, a ratio of nearly 98 percent. Equally pleasing to Knight are the number of assistants and former players who have gone on to become successful head coaches - a list that numbers 9 active coaches entering the 2004-2005 season and 28 overall.
That Knight has been able to achieve success for such a long period of time attests to his innovation and creativity. When a young Coach Knight arrived at Indiana in the spring of 1971, the Big Ten was a high-scoring league, with Iowa winning the 1970-71 title averaging 100 points per game, while the entire league averaged almost 86 points.
First he introduced defense, contesting every pass, every shot - total man-to-man defense. His offense was one of patience, one of creating the best possible shot. But he's never been one to be afraid of change. He introduced the passing game offense to the Hoosiers, an offense that relied on recognition and movement. His teams played up-tempo, fast break when the opportunity existed, attacked with two-on-one, three-on-two, or four-on-three situations. And although a tenacious man-to-man will always remain a Knight staple, zone defenses have appeared in the arsenal.
Knight has been successful not only nationally but internationally as well. In 1979 he guided the United States Pan American team to a gold medal in Puerto Rico. In 1984 he coached what may well have been the best amateur basketball team ever assembled, the United States Olympic team, which easily won the gold medal in the XXIII Olympiad in Los Angeles.
As Olympic coach, Knight arranged for the trials to be held in Bloomington, where 34,000 fans on consecutive nights witnessed exhibition games. And on a July evening, the Indianapolis RCA Dome played hot to a doubleheader involving the men's and women's Olympic teams and drew a record indoor crowd of 67,596 spectators.
Knight has been a head coach on the collegiate level for 38 years, compiling a dazzling record of 832-322 (.721). Before his tenure at Indiana, Bob Knight coached six years at Army, where his teams twice won 20 games, including a school record of 22 victories in 1970. They also played in four NIT tournaments, placing third in 1970 and fourth in both 1966 and 1969. His overall Army mark was 102-50, and three times his teams led the nation in scoring defense.
Committed to mentoring, Coach Knight's coaching techniques and teaching skills place him in great demand as a clinic speaker around the country. High school coaches flock to his clinics, and his summer camp for youngsters is always filled to capacity with a waiting list. Bob Knight has long been active in the National Association of Basketball Coaches, serving in various capacities. He served a term as a trustee of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and was named an honorary member of Beta Gamma Sigma, the national business honor society. He has also lent his name to help support charitable and youth organizations.
The works of Bob Knight stretch far beyond the realm of his numerous achievements and highly recognized status on the hardcourt. In August, 2003, he was honored as the first inductee in The Vince Lombardi Titletown Legends. The honor and responsibility pays tribute to those individuals who possess the characteristics instilled by Vince Lombardi in all his players; Dedication, Teamwork, Respect, Love, Family, and Discipline.
A native of Orrville, Ohio, Knight is a graduate of Ohio State where he was a member of the Buckeye hardwood teams that won Big Ten titles in 1960, 1961, and 1962 and the NCAA in 1960 while posting an overall record of 78-6. Many of the Big Ten team records that Knight's Indiana teams shattered were those he had a part in making as an OSU player.
After graduating with a degree in History and Government, Knight was an assistant coach at Cuyahoga Falls (Ohio) High School one year before entering the U.S. Army where he was assigned to assist Coach Tates Locke at West Point. When Locke became head coach at Miami (Ohio) University in 1965, Knight, then only 24, was named to succeed him and became the youngest Varsity Coach in major collegiate history.
Knight is the father of two sons. Tim, a 1986 graduate of Stanford University, serves Texas Tech as an Assistant Athletic Director/Special Projects. Pat, who played for him at IU from 1991-95, is the Associate Head Coach at Texas Tech. Bob Knight and his wife, Karen, were married in 1988.
Copyright 2016 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.