Bob Knight


Bob Knight : biography

October 25, 1940 –

Around this time, Knight eschewed wearing ties and sportcoats on the sidelines in favor of his now-famous sweaters.

Knight and his 1985-86 team were profiled in a best-selling book A Season on the Brink. To write it Knight granted author John Feinstein almost unprecedented access to the Indiana basketball program, as well as insights into Knight’s private life. 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. The following season, in 1986-87, Knight won a share of the Big Ten title and his third national championship against Syracuse in the 1987 NCAA tournament. In the 1988–1989 season the Hoosiers again won a Big Ten championship.


From 1990-91 through 1992-93, 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. Teams from these three seasons spent all but two of the 53 poll weeks in the top 10, and 38 of them in the top 5. They captured two Big Ten crowns in 1990-91 and 1992–93, and during the 1991-92 season reached the Final Four. During the 1992-93 season, the 31-4 Hoosiers finished the season at the top of the AP Poll, but were defeated by Kansas in the Elite Eight.

Throughout the mid and late 1990s Knight continued to experience success with continual NCAA tournament appearances and a minimum of 19 wins each season. However, 1993 would be Knight’s last conference championship and 1994 would be his last trip to the Sweet Sixteen. Moreover, his portrayal in the media often brought as much controversy to the school as success.


On March 14, 2000, just before Indiana was to begin play in the NCAA tournament, the CNN/SI network ran a piece on Knight in which former player Neil Reed claimed he had been choked by Knight in a 1997 practice. Knight denied the claims in the story. However, less than a month later, CNN Sports Illustrated aired a tape of an IU practice from 1997 that appeared to show Knight placing his hand on the neck of Neil Reed.

In response, Indiana University president Myles Brand announced that spring he had adopted a "zero tolerance" policy with regard to Bob Knight’s behavior. Later in the year, in September 2000, Indiana freshman Kent Harvey reportedly said, "Hey, Knight, what’s up?" to Knight. According to Harvey, Knight then grabbed him by the arm and lectured him for not showing proper respect, insisting that Harvey address him as either "Mr. Knight" or "Coach Knight" instead of simply "Knight." Brand stated that this incident was only one of numerous complaints that occurred after the zero-tolerance policy had been placed on Knight. He asked Knight to resign on September 10. When Knight refused, however, Brand relieved him of his coaching duties effective immediately. Knight’s dismissal was met with outrage from students. That night, thousands of Indiana students marched from Indiana University’s Assembly Hall to Brand’s home, burning him in effigy.

Harvey was supported by some and vilified by many who claim he had intentionally set up Knight. Kent Harvey’s stepfather, Mark Shaw, was a former Bloomington-area radio talk show host and Knight critic.Threats Follow Knight Dismissal – On September 13, Knight said goodbye to a crowd of some 6,000 supporters in Dunn Meadow at Indiana University. He asked that they not hold a grudge against Harvey and that they continue to support the basketball team. Knight’s firing made national headlines, including the cover of Sports Illustrated and around the clock coverage on ESPN. It was also covered heavily on major news programs such as CBS News and CNN.

Head coaching record

(*) Indicates record/standing at timeof resignation from Texas Tech.