Bob Knight

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Bob Knight : biography

October 25, 1940 –

A number of close associates and friends of Knight have also written books about him. Former player and current UCLA head basketball coach Steve Alford wrote Playing for Knight: My Six Seasons with Bobby Knight, published in 1990.

Knight’s autobiography, written with longtime friend and sports journalist Bob Hammel, was titled Knight: My Story and published in 2003. Three years later Steve Delsohn and Mark Heisler wrote Bob Knight: An Unauthorized Biography.

Film and television

Knight has appeared or been featured in numerous films and television productions. In 1994 a feature film titled Blue Chips was about Pete Bell, a volatile but honest college basketball coach under pressure to win who decides to blatantly violate NCAA rules to field a competitive team after a sub-par season. It starred Nick Nolte as Bell and NBA star Shaquille O’Neal as Neon Bodeaux, a once-in-a-lifetime player Bell woos to his school with gifts and other perks. The coach’s temper and wardrobe were modeled after Knight’s, though at no time has Knight been known to illegally recruit. Knight himself appears in the movie and coaches against Nolte in the film’s climactic game.

ESPN’s first feature-length film was A Season on the Brink, a 2002 TV adaptation from John Feinstein’s book. In the movie Knight is played by veteran character actor Brian Dennehy. ESPN also featured Knight in a reality show titled Knight School, which followed a handful of Texas Tech students as they competed for the right to join the basketball team as a non-scholarship player.

Knight made a cameo appearance as himself in the 2003 film Anger Management. In 2008, Knight appeared in a commercial as part of Volkswagen’s Das Auto series where Max, a 1964 black Beetle interviews famous people. When Knight talked about Volkswagen winning the best resale value award in 2008, Max replied, "At least one of us is winning a title this year." This prompted Knight to throw his chair off the stage and walk out saying, "I may not be retired."

Knight also made an appearance in a TV commercial for Guitar Hero: Metallica with fellow coaches Mike Krzyzewski, Rick Pitino, and Roy Williams, in a parody of Tom Cruise in Risky Business.

In 2009, Knight produced 3 instructional coaching DVD libraries—on motion offense, man-to-man defense, and instilling mental toughness—with Championship Productions.

Texas Tech Red Raiders

After taking a season off following his dismissal from Indiana, all the while on the lookout for vacancies, Knight accepted the head coaching job at Texas Tech, though his hiring was opposed by a group of faculty led by Walter Schaller. At the press conference introducing him, Knight quipped, "This is without question the most comfortable red sweater I’ve had on in six years."

Knight quickly improved the program, which had not been to an NCAA tournament since 1996. He led the Red Raiders to postseason appearances in each of his first four years at the school (three NCAA Championship tournaments and one NIT). After a rough 2006 season, the team improved in 2007, finishing 21–13 and again making it to the NCAA Championship tournament, where it lost to Boston College in the first round. The best performance by the Red Raiders under Knight came in 2005 when they advanced as far as the Sweet Sixteen. In both 2006 and 2007 under Knight, Texas Tech defeated two Top 10-ranked teams in consecutive weeks. During Knight’s first six years at Texas Tech, the Red Raiders won 126 games, an average of 21 wins per season.

On February 4, 2008, Bob Knight retired as head coach of the Texas Tech Red Raiders. His son Pat Knight, the head coach designate since 2005, was immediately named as his successor. The younger Knight stated that, after many years of coaching, his father was exhausted and ready to retire. Just after achieving his 900th win, Knight handed the job over to Pat in the mid-season in part to allow him to get acquainted with coaching the team earlier, instead of having him wait until October, the start of the next season. Following retirement Knight continued living in Lubbock.