Knight Hangs Up His Sweater

By Josh Herwitt - February 04, 2008


Bob Knight felt it was time.

He felt it was time to walk away from the game that he has given so much to. He felt it was time to step aside from his sideline perch and let another Knight pave the way.

So on Monday night, the 67-year-old coach stepped down from his throne at Texas Tech and handed over a program that he had magnificently turned around in less than six years to his son Pat.

"Coach Knight has had a great career," said Texas Tech spokeswoman Sally Logue Post in a release. "His coaching record speaks for itself. His love for basketball is clear, but most importantly his love for teaching and the students has been a hallmark of his tenure here at Texas Tech."

Sure, a lot of us thought that Knight's resignation would be announced at the end of this season after securing win No. 900 last month against Texas A&M, but on a day after the New York Giants just pulled off one of the greatest upsets of their own in Super Bowl XLII, Knight's announcement came as just as big of a shock.

What can't be forgotten, though, is what Knight did since he began coaching college basketball at the young age of 24 in 1965.

At that time, Knight was pacing the sidelines in West Point, N.Y., at Army, but it wasn't before long that he was winning national titles at Indiana, the first coming in 1976 when the Hoosiers finished the season undefeated as the last team to do so.

That wasn't the last national championship that Knight would earn in Bloomington, Ind., however, as he went on to capture two more and compile a 662-239 record in becoming IU's most prolific coach.

But as the list of accomplishments go on for Knight, including an Olympic gold medal in 1984 out in Los Angeles, so do the infamous memories, including his eventual September 2000 firing from Indiana, which triggered public protest from the university's student body and media scrutiny across the country.

As bad as it might have been, six months later, Knight was back at it, leading a furious charge in a different conference and at a school that had always treated basketball secondary to football.

So after five 20-win seasons, he's built a new army of supporters, yet this time in Lubbock, Texas, where he's been able to accomplish things that no other coach had ever done, including four trips to the NCAA Tournament and a Sweet 16 appearance in 2005.

But now after 42 years in the tank, with the most wins in NCAA Division I history, Knight is calling it quits.

And while he might have made some enemies along the way, he certainly made plenty of friends and fans, too.

Posted by Josh Herwitt at 07:24 PM on February 04, 2008
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