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 November 2, 2023

Hall of Fame basketball coach Bob Knight passes away

Iconic college basketball coach and Hall of Famer Bob Knight died Wednesday, Fox News reported. Knight brought the Indiana Hoosiers three championship wins and five Final Four appearances in nearly 30 years with the team.

"It is with heavy hearts that we share that Coach Bob Knight passed away at his home in Bloomington surrounded by his family," a statement on Knight's website said. "We are grateful for all the thoughts and prayers and appreciate the continued respect for our privacy as Coach requested a private family gathering, which is being honored," the website added.

"We will continue to celebrate his life and remember him, today and forever as a beloved Husband, Father, Coach, and Friend." Knight began his basketball career playing for Ohio State, where his team won a national championship in 1960."

He became head coach for Army in 1965 where he stayed until his move to the Indiana University Bloomington team in 1971. Knight would make his mark there, leading the Hoosiers from 1971 until he was fired from the team in 2000.

The legendary head coach was known for his explosive anger on the court, which culminated in an infamous moment where Knight sent a folding chair flying across a basketball court. Indiana finally asked Knight to step down in 2000 after 29 years because of several physical altercations on the court.

He refused, and the school was forced to fire him. Knight went on to finish out his coaching career at Texas Tech, leading the team from 2001 until leaving the court for the last time in 2008.

Knight's career continued off the court on ESPN, where he appeared as an analyst between 2008 and 2015. After the Hoosiers fired him in 2000, Knight vowed never to return to Indiana University.

However, he would eventually relent in 2020 when he was invited to accept an award there. The crowd went wild as Knight was honored for his many achievements with the Hoosiers, including 24 NCAA March Madness tournament appearances.

Despite his antics, Knight was inducted into both the Basketball Hall of Fame and the College Basketball Hall of Fame. He finished out his career with a record of 902-371 and became the sixth-winningest men's Division I basketball coach in the sport's history.

Other accomplishments include an Olympic gold medal and a Pan American Games gold medal. He has the distinct honor of being the only coach to earn those medals and a National Invitation Tournament title in the span of his career.

Of all that can be said for his career, Knight summed up his own life with Frank Sinatra's "My Way." The song was played after his 880th win, which cemented his record for the most wins as a Division I coach as of 2007, ESPN reported.

"I've simply tried to do what I think is best," Knight explained at the time. "Regrets? Sure. Just like the song. I have regrets. I wish I could have done things better at times," Knight said.

"I wish I would have had a better answer, a better way, at times. But just like he said, I did it my way, and when I look back on it, I don't think my way was all that bad," Knight said about his life.

Legends like Knight are a rarity in any sport. He may have had his faults, but Knight will be forever memorialized for his amazing accomplishments that make him a one-of-a-kind.

Written By:
Christine Favocci

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