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L E’s Stories – “Our Salute To The General” – Tribute To Coach Bobby Knight

The Indiana Hoosiers men’s basketball team was a part of the elite….“the cream at the top” ….of the college programs in the United States during the entire tenure of 17 years that Bone Daddy’s sports bar, Madison Square Garden, The Sports Place was open in Austin, TX….and that meant that he served an awful lot of Hoosier men’s basketball fans over the years….fot the truth be known….Indiana University’s head basketball coach Bobby Knight had his teams in the “Big Dance” (NCAAM tournament) dang near each and every year that Bone Daddy served sports in downtown Austin. When you add into that mix, the fact that Bone Daddy attended the 1987 Final Four at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans….as evidenced by the huge array of sports collectibles of t-shirts, caps, pins, pennants, et al…..which can be seen in our Memorabilia Section….as BD was courtside when Keith Smart took the last second winning shot…..then it becomes obvious why I am writing this story and tribute to Coach Knight.                                           

NCAAM Basketball – 2006 – Special – Texas Tech “Knight School” – With Coach Bobby Knight On “Making The Grade For Walk-ons At Tech”                                                                                                                                    

NCAAM Basketball – 2006 – Special – Texas Tech “Knight School” – With Coach Bobby Knight On “Being Pushed To The Limit” 

 

NCAAM Basketball – 2006 – Special – Texas Tech “Knight School” – With Coach Bobby Knight On “Going Up Against the Big Boys”                                                                                                                                                     

Bobby Knight is an American former basketball coach….who was nicknamed “the General”,….while winning 902 NCAA Division I men’s college basketball games….which was a record at the time of his retirement….and is currently 3rd all-time….after being behind his former player and assistant coach Mike Krzyzewski of Duke and Jim Boeheim of Syracuse…who are both still active in 2020. Knight is best known as the head coach of the Indiana Hoosiers from 1971 to 2000….. as well as coaching at Texas Tech from 2001 – 2008….and at Army from 1965  –  1971.  While at Indiana, Knight led his teams to three NCAA championships…. one National Invitation Tournament (NIT) championship….and 11 Big Ten Conference championships…..as his 1975/76 team went undefeated during the regular season….and won the 1976 NCAA tournament….as the 1976 Indiana squad is the last men’s college basketball team to go undefeated for the entire season. The General  received National Coach of the Year honors four times….and Big Ten Coach of the Year honors eight times.  In 1984, he coached the USA men’s Olympic team to a gold medal….while becoming one of only three basketball coaches to win an NCAA title, NIT title and an Olympic gold medal.                                                                                                                                              

NCAAM Basketball – 2006 – Special – Texas Tech “Knight School” – With Coach Bobby Knight On “Enthusiastic Rematch”

 

NCAAM Basketball – 2006 – Special – Texas Tech “Knight School” – With Coach Bobby Knight On “Life Lessons”                                                                                                                                                                           

NCAAM Basketball – 2006 – Special – Texas Tech “Knight School” – With Coach Bobby Knight On “The WAlk On”                                                                                                                                                                            

Knight was one of college basketball’s most successful and innovative coaches, having popularized the motion offense. He has also been praised for running good programs….as none of his teams was ever sanctioned by the NCAA for recruiting violations….and nearly all of his players graduated from IU.  Knight sparked controversy with his outspoken nature and demonstrative behavior…..as he once famously threw a chair across the court during a game….which was rewarded with an ejection….plus Coach Knight was once arrested in Puerto Rico following a physical confrontation with a police officer.  Knight regularly displayed a volatile nature and was sometimes accused of verbal conflicts with members of the press.  He was also recorded on videotape appearing to have possibly grabbed one of his players by the neck.  Knight remains “the object of near fanatical devotion” from many of his former players and Indiana fans….nevertheless, Knight was accused of choking a player during practice….after which a “zero tolerance” policy was instituted specifically for Coach Knight.  After an ensuing run-in with a student, university president Myles Brand fired Knight in the fall of 2000  In 2008, Knight joined ESPN as a men’s college basketball studio analyst during Championship Week….and for coverage of the NCAA Tournament…..and continued covering college basketball for ESPN through the 2014–15 season.                         

Basketball & News – 2017 – Interview with WANE-TV – Bob Knight on Michael Jordan – “Who’s The Best + Who’s The Most Valuable”                                                                                                                                              

NCAAM Basketball & News – 2017 – Interview with Joe Buck – Bob Knight On Coach John Wooden – “I Don’t Respect Him”                                                                                                                                                              

NCAAM Basketball & News – 2017 – Interview with Bob Costas – Bob Knight On “The Controversies Surrounding Me”                                                                                                                                                                 

Knight was born in 1940 in Massillon, Ohio….while growing up in nearby Orrville…..where he began playing organized basketball at Orrville High School…..which continued at Ohio State in 1958….when he played for Basketball Hall of Fame coach Fred Taylor….where despite being a star player in high school, he played a reserve role as a forward on the 1960 Ohio State Buckeyes team which won the NCAA Championship….and featured future Hall of Fame players John Havlicek and Jerry Lucas…..when the Buckeyes lost to the Cincinnati Bearcats in each of the next two NCAA Championship games….as  Knight was also a part of these teams….so, he had three championship years with Coach Taylor…..which provided greatly as Knight’s coaching career would unfold.  Due in part to the star power of those Ohio State teams, Knight usually received scant playing time, but that did not prevent him from making an impact. In the 1961 NCAA Championship game, Knight came off the bench with 1:41 on the clock and Cincinnati leading Ohio State, 61–59. In the words of then-Ohio State assistant coach Frank Truitt,  Knight got the ball in the left front court and faked a drive into the middle. Then [he] crossed over like he worked on it all his life and drove right in and laid it up. That tied the game for us, and Knight ran clear across the floor like a 100-yard dash sprinter and ran right at me and said, ‘See there, coach, I should have been in that game a long time ago!’….too which Truitt replied “Sit down, you hot dog. You’re lucky you’re even on the floor!”                                                                                                                                                                            

NCAAM Basketball – 1985 – Game Of The Week highlights – Purdue vs. Indiana – With Bobby Knight Tossing Chair Across The Floor

After completion of graduation from Ohio State University in 1962, he coached junior varsity basketball at Cuyahoga Falls High School in Ohio for one year….and that is when Knight enlisted in the United States Army and accepted an assistant coaching position with the Army Black Knights in 1963….where, two years later, he was named head coach at the relatively young age of 24…..when in six seasons at West Point, Knight won 102 games, with his first as a head coach coming against Worcester Polytechnic Institute.  One of his players was Mike Krzyzewski….who later served as his assistant before becoming a Hall of Fame head coach at Duke….along with Mike Silliman….who was another of Knight’s players at Army…..as Knight was quoted as saying, “Mike Silliman is the best player I have ever coached.”  During his tenure at Army, Knight gained a reputation for having an explosive temper…..for example….after Army’s 66–60 loss to BYU and its Hall of Fame coach Stan Watts in the semifinals of the 1966 NIT…..and Knight completely lost control, kicking lockers and verbally blasting the officials. Embarrassed, he later went to Watts’ hotel room and apologized. Watts forgave him, and is quoted as saying, “I want you to know that you’re going to be one of the bright young coaches in the country, and it’s just a matter of time before you win a national championship.”  Knight was one of seven candidates vying to fill the Wisconsin men’s basketball head coaching vacancy after John Erickson resigned to become the Milwaukee Bucks’ first-ever general manager on April 3, 1968. He was offered the position but requested more time to think it over. By the time he returned to West Point, news that he was to become the Badgers’ new coach was prematurely leaked to the local media. After consulting with Bo Schembechler who the previous year also had a negative experience as a Wisconsin football coaching candidate, Knight withdrew his candidacy and continued to coach at Army for three more seasons. Erickson’s assistant coach John Powless was promoted instead.  In 1971, Indiana University hired Knight as head coach…..and during his 29 years at the school, the Hoosiers won 662 games…which included 22 seasons of 20 or more wins….while losing 239, for a .735 winning percentage.  In 24 NCAA tournament appearances at Indiana, Hoosier teams under Knight won 42 of 63 games (.667)….while winning NCAA titles in 1976, 1981, and 1987….and losing in the semi-finals in 1973 and 1992.                                                                                                                                                

NCAAM Basketball – 2000 – Special – CNN Larry King Interviews Bobby Knight

In 1972–73, Knight’s second year as coach, Indiana won the Big Ten championship….and reached the Final Four….but lost to UCLA….who was on its way to their 7th consecutive national title. The following season, 1973–74, Indiana once again captured a Big Ten title. In the two following seasons, 1974–75 and 1975–76, the Hoosiers were undefeated in the regular season and won 37 consecutive Big Ten games….which included two more Big Ten championships. The 1974–75 Hoosiers swept the entire Big Ten by an average of 22.8 points per game…..however, in an 83–82 win against Purdue, they lost consensus All-American forward Scott May to a broken left arm…..and with May’s injury keeping him to 7 minutes of play….the # 1 Hoosiers lost to Kentucky 92–90 in the Mideast Regional. The Hoosiers were so dominant that four starters – Scott May, Steve Green, Kent Benson and Quinn Buckner would make the five-man All-Big Ten team. The following season, 1975–76, the Hoosiers went the entire season and 1976 NCAA tournament without a single loss….while beating  Michigan 86–68 in the title game.  Immediately after the game, Knight lamented that “it should have been two.”….cuz the 1976 Hoosiers remain the last undefeated NCAA Division I men’s basketball team.  Throughout these two seasons, Knight’s teams were undefeated in the regular season, including a perfect 37–0 record in Big Ten games on their way to their 3rd and 4th conference titles in a row.  Behind the play of Mike Woodson, Indiana won the 1979 NIT championship.  The 1979–80 Hoosiers, led by Mike Woodson and Isiah Thomas, won the Big Ten championship and advanced to the 1980 Sweet Sixteen. The following season, in 1980–81, Thomas and the Hoosiers once again won a conference title….and won the 1981 NCAA tournament….which was Knight’s 2nd national title.                                                                                                                                                  

NCAAM Basketball – 2000 – CNN Larry King Live – With Coach Bobby Knight – “The Story Of Landon Turner”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

In 1982–1983, with the strong play of Uwe Blab and All-Americans Ted Kitchel and Randy Wittman, the # 1 ranked Hoosiers were favorites to win another national championship….however, with an mid-season injury to All-American Ted Kitchel, the Hoosiers’ prospects were grim. Knight asked for fan support to rally around the team….and when the team ultimately won the Big Ten title, he ordered that a banner be hung for the team in Assembly Hall as a tribute to the fans….who he credited with inspiring the team to win its final three home games…..albeit in the  tournament, Kitchel’s absence was felt….and the team lost to Kentucky in the 1983 Sweet Sixteen.  The 1985–86 Hoosiers 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. The following season, in 1986–87, the Hoosiers were led by All-American Steve Alford and captured a share of the Big Ten title…..as the team won Knight’s 3rd national championship (the school’s 5th) against Syracuse in the 1987 NCAA tournament with a game-winning jump shot by Keith Smart with five seconds of play remaining in the championship game….and Bone Daddy, the original Sportsphile, was there at the Louisiana Superdome to perfectly see the shot…..as he was sitting court side, 11 rows up in the left corner of the basketball court.  In the 1988–1989 season the Hoosiers were led by All-American Jay Edwards and won a Big Ten championship….and from 1990–91 through 1992–93, the Hoosiers posted 87 victories….which was the most by any Big Ten team in a three-year span….while breaking the mark of 86 set by Knight’s Indiana teams of 1974–76…..as teams from these three seasons spent all but two of the 53 poll weeks in the top 10….with 38 of them in the top 5…..when 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. Teams from this era included Greg Graham, Pat Knight, All-Americans Damon Bailey and Alan Henderson Brian Evans, and National Player of the Year Calbert Cheaney.  Throughout the mid and late 1990’s 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.                                                                          

NCAAM Basketball – 1976 – Men’s National Championship Game – Michigan Wolverines Vs. Indiana Hoosiers – With Curt Gowdy

On March 14, 2000 (just before Indiana was to begin play in the NCAA tournament), the CNN Sports Illustrated network ran a piece on Robert Abbott’s investigation of Knight in which former player Neil Reed claimed he had been choked by Knight during a practice in 1997.  Knight denied the claims in the story. However, less than a month later, the network aired a tape of an Indiana practice from 1997 that appeared to show Knight placing his hand on the neck of Reed.  In response, Indiana University president Myles Brand announced that he had adopted a “zero tolerance” policy with regard to Knight’s behavior.  Later in the year, in September 2000, Indiana freshman Kent Harvey (not a basketball player) 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 him respect, insisting that Harvey address him as either “Mr. Knight” or “Coach Knight” instead of simply “Knight.”….to which  Brand stated that this incident was only one of numerous complaints that occurred after the zero-tolerance policy had been put into place….when Brand asked Knight to resign on September 10….and when Knight refused, Brand relieved him of his coaching duties effective immediately….as 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 Brand in effigy….as 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.  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.                                                                       

NCAAM Basketball – 1981 – Men’s National Championship Game – North Carolina Tar Heels Vs Indiana Hoosiers – With Bryan Gumble

In a March 2017 interview on The Dan Patrick Show, Knight stated that he had no interest in ever returning to Indiana. When host Dan Patrick commented that most of the administration that had fired Knight seventeen years earlier were no longer there, Knight said, “I hope they’re all dead.”….for you see folks, this was The General ….who was quoted saying….“When my time on Earth is gone, and my activities here are passed, I want they bury me upside down, and my critics can kiss my ass.”  Following his dismissal from Indiana, Knight took a season off…..and was on the lookout for coaching vacancies…..when he accepted the head coaching position at Texas Tech….although his hiring was opposed by a faculty group that was led by Walter Schaller.  When he was introduced at the press conference, Knight quipped, “This is without question the most comfortable red sweater I’ve had on in six years.”…..and he quickly improved the program….which had not been to an NCAA tournament since 1996…..as he led the team to postseason appearances in each of his 1st four years at the school (three NCAA Championship tournaments and one NIT)…..then after a rough 2006 season, the team improved in 2007, finishing 21–13….and again making it to the NCAA tournament….where it lost to Boston College in the first round. The best performance by the Red Raiders under Knight came in 2005 when they advanced as far as the Sweet Sixteen. In both 2006 and 2007 under Knight, Texas Tech defeated two Top 10-ranked teams in consecutive weeks. During Knight’s first six years at Texas Tech, the Red Raiders won 126 games….which was an average of 21 wins per season.  On February 4, 2008, Knight announced his retirement….and his son Pat Knight….who had been the head coach designate since 2005…. was immediately named as his successor at Texas Tech. The younger Knight had said that after many years of coaching, his father was exhausted and ready to retire.  Just after achieving his 900th win, Knight handed the job over to Pat in the mid-season in part to allow him to get acquainted with coaching the team earlier, instead of having him wait until October, the start of the next season.  Knight continued to live in Lubbock after he retired.                                                                                                                                                              

NCAAM Basketball – 1987 – Men’s National Championship Game – Syracuse Orangemen Vs Indiana Hoosiers – With Jim Nantz

Knight was an innovator of the motion offense….which he perfected and popularized…..as the system emphasizes post players setting screens and perimeter players passing the ball until a teammate becomes open for an uncontested jump shot or lay-up. This required players to be unselfish, disciplined, and effective in setting and using screens to get open.  Knight’s motion offense did not take shape until he began coaching at Indiana.  Prior to that, at Army, he ran a “reverse action” that involved reversing the ball from one side of the floor to the other and screening along with it.  According to Knight, it was a “West Coast offense” that Pete Newell used exclusively during his coaching career. After being exposed to the Princeton offense, Knight instilled more cutting with the offense he employed….which evolved into the motion offense that he ran for most of his career.  Knight continued to develop the offense, instituting different cuts over the years and putting his players in different scenarios…..plus Knight was well known for the extreme preparation he put into each game and practice. He was often quoted as saying, “Most people have the will to win, few have the will to prepare to win.”  Often during practice, Knight would instruct his players to a certain spot on the floor and give them options of what to do based on how the defense might react.  In contrast to set plays, Knight’s offense was designed to react according to the defense.  The 3-point shot was adopted by the NCAA in 1986….which was midway through Knight’s coaching career…..and although he opposed the rule change throughout his life, it did complement his offense well by improving the spacing on the floor…..when he sardonically said at the time that he supported institution of the three point shot because if a team’s offense was functioning efficiently enough to get a layup the team should be rewarded with three points for that basket.  Knight’s offense also emphasized a two-count…..as players in the post are expected to try to post in the paint for two seconds….and if they do not receive the ball they go set a screen.  Players with the ball are expected to hold the ball for two seconds to see where they are going to take it. Screens are supposed to be held for two seconds, as well.                                                                                                                                                           

NCAAM Basketball – 1976 – Big 10 Game Of Week – Michigan Vs Indiana – With Bobby Knight’s Halftime Speech When Down 6 Pts At Half  During Perfect Season

On defense Knight was known for emphasizing tenacious “man-to-man” defense…..where defenders contest every pass and every shot…. and help teammates when needed…..however, Knight has also incorporated a zone defense periodically after eschewing that defense for the first two decades of his coaching career.  Knight’s coaching also included a firm emphasis on academics…..as all but four of his four-year players completed their degrees….which was a ratio of nearly 98 percent. Nearly 80% of his players graduated….as this figure was much higher than the national average of 42% for Division 1 schools.  Knight’s all time coaching record is 902–371….while his 902 wins in NCAA Division I men’s college basketball games is 3rd all-time to Knight’s former player Mike Krzyzewski at Duke….and Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim.  Knight achieved his 880th career win on January 1, 2007….which passed retired North Carolina coach Dean Smith for most career victories….which was a title he held until his win total was surpassed by Krzyzewski on November 15, 2011….and then by Jim Boeheim on December 30, 2012.  Knight is the youngest coach to reach 200 wins (age 35)….300 wins (age 40)……and 400 (age 44) wins. He was also among the youngest to reach other milestones of 500 (age 48) and 600 (age 52) wins.                                                                                                                                                                          

NCAAM Basketball – 1965 To 2008 – ESPN Top Ten Special – Bobby Knight’s Best Soundbites

NCAAM Basketball – 1965 To 2008 – Closing To “Season On The Brink” Special – Bobby Knight Clips

NCAAM Basketball – 1971 To 2000 – Special – “Some Quality Time With Coach Bobby Knight”                             

Texas Tech’s participation in the 2007 NCAA Tournament gave Knight more NCAA tournament appearances than any other coach.  He is the only coach to win the NCAA, the NIT, an Olympic Gold medal and a Pan American Games Gold medal.  Knight is also one of only three people, along with Dean Smith and Joe B. Hall, who had both played on and coached an NCAA Tournament championship basketball team.  Knight received a number of personal honors during and after his coaching career. He was named the National Coach of the Year four times (1975, 1976, 1987, 1989)….Big Ten Coach of the Year eight times (1973, 1975, 1976, 1980, 1981, 1989, 1992, 1993)….and in 1975 he was a unanimous selection as National Coach of the Year….which is an honor he was accorded again in 1976 by the Associated Press, United Press International and Basketball Weekly.  In 1987 he was the first person to be honored with the Naismith Coach of the Year Award.  In 1989 he garnered National Coach of the Year honors by the AP, UPI, and the United States Basketball Writers Association.  Knight was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1991.  On November 17, 2006, Knight was recognized for his impact on college basketball as a member of the founding class of the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame. The following year, he was the recipient of the Naismith Award for Men’s Outstanding Contribution to Basketball.  Knight was also inducted into the Army Sports Hall of Fame (Class of 2008) and the Indiana Hoosiers athletics Hall of Fame (Class of 2009).  In August 2003, he was honored as the first inductee in The Vince Lombardi Titletown Legends.                                                                                                                            

NCAAM Basketball – 1993 – David Letterman Show – With Bobby Knight Telling A Funny Michael Jordan Story

Since every Final Four from 1975 thru 1991 drew a sell-out crowd (1100) to Bone Daddy’s sports bar….which meant that college basketball was very popular…..as this equated to many, many Indiana Hoosiers fans that were loyal patrons during any and all televised Hoosier basketball games at Madison Square Garden, The Sports Place at 302 E. 6th St. in downtown Austin, TX…..and considering that Bone Daddy was an “officer and a gentleman”  in the US Army….who just happens to love basketball….has always had a “soft spot” for Bobby Knight….especially after seeing his Hoosiers win the National Championship in the Louisiana Superdome in 1987…..cuz the trip to New Orleans for the 1987 Final Four was truly a memorable occasion….for Bone Daddy and Prince of Pleasure set up residence at Lucky Pierre’s Place on Bourbon Street….and anyone who knew Lucky’s place….knows that a “really good time” was had by one and all…..but that’s a “whole nuther story for anuther day”…..albeit, suffice to say, BD and Prince were “bigtime” Indiana Hoosier fans…..as heard all throughout from the French Quarter to the Superdome…..and Coach Knight along with Keith Smart….“Thanks For The Memories”.

NCAAM Basketball – 2011 – Wabash, Indiana Honeywell Center – Bob Knight: “Thoughts on Calapari, Kentucky, and Academics”

 

 

 

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