BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (WNCN/AP) – The turbulent and brilliant basketball coach Bob Knight has died. Knight’s family made the announcement Wednesday night on social media, saying he was surrounded by family at his home in Bloomington, Indiana.
Knight led the Hoosiers to three NCAA championships. He was among college basketball’s winningest coaches, with 902 victories in 42 seasons at Army, Indiana and Texas Tech.
He coached the U.S. to the 1984 Olympic gold medal. His temper was legendary. In 1985, he tossed a chair across the court. But he took pride in his players’ high graduation rates and never was accused of a major NCAA violation. Bob Knight was 83.
Knight’s family shared the following statement:
“It is with heavy hearts that we share that Coach Bob Knight passed away at his home in Bloomington surrounded by his family. 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. We will continue to celebrate his life and remember him, today and forever as a beloved Husband, Father, Coach, and Friend.”
A couple of Hall of Fame coaches from the Triangle offered their condolences to Knight’s family, including former Duke men’s basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski. He played for Knight at Army from 1966-69, as well as later served on his coaching staff at Indiana.
Krzyzewski released the following statement about the death of his former coach:
“We lost one of the greatest coaches in the history of basketball today. Clearly, he was one of a kind. Coach Knight recruited me, mentored me, and had a profound impact on my career and in my life. This is a tremendous loss for our sport and our family is deeply saddened by his passing. We offer our sincerest condolences to Karen, Tim, Pat, and their families during this difficult time.”
Meanwhile, former North Carolina men’s basketball coach Roy Williams also provided a statement on Knight’s passing:
“Coach (Dean) Smith was certainly my mentor, but the next guy for me was Bob Knight. I played golf with him, watched baseball with him, watched his practices my first year as a head coach, but more importantly I appreciated the help he gave me in my coaching career. He acted like I was one of his guys and made me so much better. He was one of my heroes and I will be forever grateful to him.”