Knight, Bobby

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.
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Knight, Bobby

Bobby Knight (Robert Montgomery Knight), 1940–, American basketball coach, b. Massillon, Ohio. A point guard at Ohio State (grad. 1962), Knight became (1963) an assistant coach at West Point and two years later was named Army's head coach. In 1971 he was hired to coach by Indiana Univ. During his 29-season tenure there, the Hoosiers won 11 Big Ten Conference titles, taking the 1979 NIT championship and three NCAA titles (1976, 1981, 1987). Knight also led the U.S. Olympic team to a gold medal in 1984. Four-time National Coach of the Year (1975–76, 1987, 1989), he was named to the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1991. At the same time, Knight became one of the most controversial figures in basketball, widely criticized for his bullying of players, intemperate remarks, and violent outbursts, and after an incident with a student in 2000 Indiana fired him. He subsequently coached (2001–8) at Texas Tech Univ. When he retired, he held the NCAA record for college basketball victories as a coach (902), since surpassed by Mike Krzyzewski.

See his autobiography (with B. Hammel, 2002); biography by S. Delsohn and M. Heisler (2006); J. Feinstein, A Season on the Brink (1986).

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