BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (WANE) — Bob Knight, the fiery head basketball coach who led the Indiana Hoosiers to three national titles, has died at age 83.
Knight’s family announced his passing on his website, saying Knight passed away at his home in Bloomington surrounded by family.
“We are grateful for all the thoughts and prayers, and [we] appreciate the continued respect for our privacy as Coach requested a private family gathering, which is being honored,” Knight’s family said in a release. “We will continue to celebrate his life and remember him, today and forever as a beloved husband, father, coach and friend.”
Knight’s family said donations to any charity in his name are also appreciated.
Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb issued a statement following Knight’s death:
“Coach Robert Montgomery Knight was a towering basketball figure and fighter, second to none. As a National Champion he became synonymous with our state and what Hoosier’s are all about: hard work, practice makes perfect, teamwork and a commitment to excellence. His teams were built around student-athletes and his influence prepared them for life after the ball stopped bouncing. There will never be another Coach Knight and the banners that hang in Assembly Hall will forever remind us of his time, impact and dominance. When Indiana builds our Mount Rushmore of Basketball, The General will surely be on it.“
WANE 15’s Glenn Marini’s 2017 interview with Bob Knight
Born Oct. 25, 1940, Robert Montgomery Knight became the head basketball coach of the Indiana Hoosiers in 1971, kicking off a nearly three-decade stint with the Hoosiers that resulted in three national championships in 1976, 1981 and 1987.
Two of the championships pitted Knight against other college basketball royalty as Knight’s Hoosiers bested North Carolina’s Dean Smith in 1981 and Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim in 1987.
Knight’s 1975-1976 squad that featured a plethora of stars and key players, including Scott May, Kent Benson, Quinn Buckner, Tom Abernethy and Bobby Wilkerson, is still the last NCAA Division I team to go undefeated.
Before his coaching days, Knight also played basketball at Ohio State University and won a national title in 1960 alongside future hall of famers Jerry Lucas and John Havlicek.
“The General” also served as head coach at Army and Texas Tech during his career.
Throughout his career, Knight became known for his passionate outbursts and no-nonsense attitude, with one notable moment being when Knight threw a chair across the court during a game against Purdue in 1985.
However, Knight’s tendencies played a part in his time at Indiana University coming to a tumultuous end in September 2000 after multiple controversies regarding accusations of physical abuse eventually led to Knight being fired by the university, leaving Knight bitter and the two sides distant for two decades.
When Knight retired, he held the all-time wins record for an NCAA Division I head coach with 902 victories.