Legendary college basketball coach Bob Knight has passed away, his family announced Wednesday. He was 83 years old.
“It is with heavy hearts that we share that Coach Bob Knight passed away at his home in Bloomington surrounded by his family,” a statement by Knight’s loved ones said. “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.”
Knight — AKA “The General” — is one of the most successful coaches in NCAA history with 902 Division I wins … leading the bench for three programs (Army, Indiana and Texas Tech) from 1963-2008.
Knight was a three-time champion as the Hoosiers’ head coach … winning it all in 1976, 1981 and 1987. He also went to the Final Four five times during his time in Bloomington.
Before becoming a coach, Knight played at Ohio State, where he helped the Buckeyes win a national championship in 1961.
At 24 years old, Knight took over at Army … where he would coach future Duke Blue Devils legend Mike Krzyzewski. Coach K also served as Knight’s assistant before going to Duke.
Knight became the Hoosiers’ head coach in 1971 … spending 29 seasons with the program, including 24 NCAA tournament appearances and 22 20-win seasons.
The Hoosiers went a perfect 32-0 en route to a national title in the 1976 season … the most recent team to ever do so.
Knight also coached Team USA to an Olympic gold medal in 1984.
Knight — known for his hot temper — infamously got ejected during a game against Purdue in 1985 after getting angry over a foul call.
Knight’s time in Bloomington ended in controversy — after he was captured on video choking former player Neil Reed in 1997, the school implemented a zero-tolerance policy toward the coach … and he was fired after student Kent Harvey accused Bobby of grabbing him by the arm for referring to him as “Knight.”
Knight was hired as the Texas Tech head coach in 2001 … where he would lead the Red Raiders to a Sweet 16 appearance in 2005.
He retired from Texas Tech in 2008 … and his son, Pat, took the reins.
Knight coached several future NBA stars during his career … including Isiah Thomas and Mike Woodson.
After retirement, Bobby worked for ESPN as an analyst until 2015.
Knight was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 1991 … and the College Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006.
Knight was hospitalized back in April with an “acute illness” … and the Indiana program asked his supporters to pray for him.