Robert Montgomery Knight was a college basketball coach from 1965-2008. Knight is well known for his time in Indiana from 1971-2000, where his career ultimately ended due to termination.
Bobby Knight won three national championships, 11 Big Ten conference championships, 5 Final Four appearances, an Olympic Gold Medal, and 24 tournament appearances.
Knight was hired by Indiana University in 1971, and Knight was ambitious and wanted to turn the team around. In his second season as a coach, he won the Big Ten championship but lost in the Final Four to UCLA,
Three seasons later, Knight and his team won all 37 games in their schedule. Indiana is the last team to have a perfect regular season and postseason run. If it weren’t for an injury the year before, “it should have been two”. Knight told reporters he thought his team should have won.
In 1980, Bobby Knight’s team won another conference championship but fell in the Sweet Sixteen and the following year, Knight’s team won the conference championship and the national title.
In 1987, Indiana won the national title again. This time led by Steve Alford. This was Knights 3rd NCAA title and Indiana’s 5th all time.
From 1990-93, Indiana won a remarkable 87 games, which is the most by any team in a three-year span. This record broke the previous record of 86, which was set by Knights 1974-1976 teams. These teams included the players, Pat Knight, Damon Bailey, Alan Henderson, and National Player of the Year, Calbert Cheaney.
During Knight’s last season in 2000, CNN ran a short video where former player, Neil Reed, accused Bobby Knight of choking him in a practice in 1997. Reed was not a respected by he Indiana community due to his lazy and weak tendencies on and off the court.
Indiana president, Myles Brand, told Knight that he had a zero-tolerance policy with his behavior. After an alleged incident, Brand asked Knight to resign, and Knight refused causing Brand to relieve him of his duties. Students at Indiana were outraged, and thousands marched to Brand’s home.
Knight also made sure his players were excelling academically, and nearly 80 percent of his players graduated which is much higher than the 42 percent average.
Knight is one of three people to play on and coach a National Championship team. He is third in all-time wins behind Coach Krzyzewski and Coach Boeheim, and has more tournament appearances than any other coach.
Although Knight’s story had a bad ending, he is one of the most relentless, and success driven coaches of all-time.