Bob Knight


Bob Knight : biography

October 25, 1940 –



Bob Knight’s all time coaching record is 902-371. His 902 wins in NCAA Division I men’s college basketball games is third all-time to Jim Boeheim, and his former player, Mike Krzyzewski. Knight achieved his 880th career win on January 1, 2007 and passed retired North Carolina coach Dean Smith for most career victories, a title he held until his win total was surpassed by Krzyzewski on November 15, 2011. Knight is the youngest coach to reach 200 (age 35), 300 (age 40) and 400 (age 44) wins. He was also among the youngest to reach other milestones of 500 (age 48) and 600 (age 52) wins.

Texas Tech’s participation in the 2007 NCAA Tournament gave Knight more NCAA Tournaments appearances than any other coach. He is the only coach to win the NCAA, the NIT, an Olympic Gold medal, and a Pan American Games Gold medal. Knight is also one of only three people, along with Dean Smith and Joe B. Hall, who had both played on and coached a winning NCAA championship basketball team.


Knight received a number of personal honors during and after his coaching career. He was named the National Coach of the Year four times (1975, 1976, 1987, 1989) and Big Ten Coach of the Year eight times (1973, 1975, 1976, 1980, 1981, 1989, 1992, 1993). 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 the first person to be honored with the Naismith Coach of the Year Award. In 1989 he garnered National Coach of the Year honors by the AP, UPI, and the United States Basketball Writers Association. Knight was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1991. On November 17, 2006, Knight was recognized for his impact on college basketball as a member of the founding class of the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame. The following year he was the recipient of the Naismith Award for Men’s Outstanding Contribution to Basketball. Knight was also inducted into the Army Sports Hall of Fame (Class of 2008) and the Indiana Hoosiers athletics Hall of Fame (Class of 2009). In August 2003, he was honored as the first inductee in The Vince Lombardi Titletown Legends.

Coaching tree

A number of assistant coaches, players, and managers of Knight have gone on to be coaches. Among them are Hall of Fame Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski, UCLA coach Steve Alford and NBA coaches Randy Wittman, Mike Woodson, Keith Smart Evansville Coach Marty Simmons, St. Louis Coach Jim Crews and Lawrence Frank.

Life after coaching

In 2008, Knight was hired as a studio analyst and occasional color commentator by ESPN. In November 2012, he called an Indiana Men’s Basketball game for the first time, something he had previously refused to do. Current Indiana Hoosiers Men’s basketball coach Tom Crean has reached out to Knight in an attempt to get him to visit the school again. Knight has thus far rebuffed all attempts to bring him back to Bloomington.

In the media

Books about Knight

In 1986 author John Feinstein published A Season on the Brink, which detailed the 1985-86 season of the Indiana Hoosiers. Granted almost unprecedented access to the Indiana basketball program, as well as insights into Knight’s private life, the book quickly became a major best-seller and spawned a new genre, as a legion of imitators wrote works covering a single year of a sports franchise. In the book Feinstein depicts a coach who is quick with a violent temper, but also one who never cheats and strictly follows all of the NCAA’s rules.

Two years later author Joan Mellen penned the book Bob Knight: His Own Man (ISBN 0-380-70809-4), in part to rebut Feinstein’s A Season on the Brink. Mellen deals with seemingly all the causes celebres in Knight’s career and presents the view that he is more sinned against than sinning.