Coach Knight Resigns


    February 4, 2008

(Courtesy of Jeff Walker – Lubbock Avalanche-Journal – Lubbock, TX) – When Bob Knight arrived in Lubbock, he was greeted by a large, loud crowd at United Spirit Arena.

There will be far less pomp and circumstance for his departure.

Knight, in his seventh season as Texas Tech's head coach, informed athletic director Gerald Myers on Monday morning he was retiring, effective immediately.

Knight said he has contemplated retirement and thought about doing it after this season. But after talking to good friend and legendary basketball coach Pete Newell on Sunday, Knight believed now was the best time to begin the transition phase of having son, Pat, take over the program.

Pat Knight has been the head coach designate since 2005.

"There's a transition that's going to take place here from me to Pat and I've dwelt on this all year long - about what would be the best way to do this, and how it would be best for him and for the team and for what we can do in the long run to make this the best thing for Texas Tech," said Knight, who retires with 902 career victories. "I didn't know, I've never really known when I was going to step down from this job. As I thought about it, my first thought was at the end of this season."


Knight said he spoke with Newell for about an hour and an half Sunday.

"My thinking was that for Pat and for this team - most of which is returning next year - the best thing for the long run for this team would be for Pat and his staff to coach these remaining 10 games," Knight said. "And (to) get an understanding, get a real feel for each other, be able to think over the course of the spring and summer going into next season about how people had played, how things had been done offensively or defensively, what could be done or couldn't be done, what to stay away from, what to work on and develop that from a game standpoint as the coach in charge of everything rather than as an assistant coach.

 It was always a problem for me as to just what would be the most effective way in this transition, to make this transition. And with all the thought that I put into it, that's exactly how I felt that it should be."

Knight said he informed the team prior to practice Monday. The Red Raiders (12-8, 3-3) will play at Baylor on Wednesday.

Myers was in a similar situation more than three decades ago when he took over the Red Raiders' program mid-season. He said he was surprised when Knight told him Monday he was stepping down, but he also understood Knight's reasoning.

"I think I do understand why he decided to do it at this particular time," said Myers, who took over as head coach in January, 1971, before coaching 20 more years at Tech. "He felt it was the right time for him to step down and I'll miss him. He's done an outstanding job for this basketball program of building it up. He brought more recognition to the program, to the university and to the city of Lubbock than anybody, in my opinion. It was great to have him on our staff and he was great to work with."

Knight said this is not a health issue, though he said, "I feel better today than I did on Saturday."

The Red Raiders won Knight's final game, 67-60, over Oklahoma State, leaving him with 902 career victories. He compiled 138 wins in seven seasons at Tech, compiling a 138-82 record. His .627 winning percentage is the highest in Tech men's basketball history. Berl Huffman is second at (.609) in three seasons.

Statement from Texas Tech Director of Athletics Gerald Myers

"Bob Knight has done an outstanding job as Texas Tech’s basketball coach. He has brought more recognition to Texas Tech, Lubbock and West Texas than anyone who has ever been at Texas Tech. His teams have won more games and been to more postseason tournaments (NCAA and NIT) in the seven years he has been our coach than any team in a similar period of time.

 "He has won over 900 games during his storied career, the most in the history of NCAA Division I men’s basketball. His legacy to basketball is more than the number of wins he has achieved. Bob has given back to the game of basketball as much or more than anyone who has ever coached the game.  No one has participated in more basketball clinics and camps and invited coaches to practices than Bob Knight. He has always made time to help coaches with information and insight into the technical aspects of his coaching philosophy.

"Many great coaches have influenced the game of basketball. Bob Knight’s philosophy and system of offense and defense have been copied and emulated by hundreds and hundreds of coaches at all levels throughout the world.

"I am pleased and excited we have Pat Knight, who is ready to be the head coach of Texas Tech basketball. He will work to give students, fans and alumni a competitive and excited basketball team."




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