Bob Knight: Hall of Fame college basketball coach dies at 83

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Bob Knight, coaching Indiana University in December 1994, yells and points during a game against Kentucky in Louisville.


Bob Knight, who was one of college basketball’s most successful coaches and led Indiana University to a national championship, has died at the age of 83, his family announced Wednesday.

The family did not immediately release the details of the death of the man who coached the Indiana Hoosiers from 1971 to 2000, and whose 1976 title-winning team is the most recent Division I men’s team to finish the season undefeated.

“It is with great sadness that we share that Coach Bob Knight passed away at his home in Bloomington (Indiana) surrounded by his family,” his family wrote on their website. “We are grateful for all the thoughts and prayers, and we appreciate the continued respect for our privacy as Coach requested a private meeting, which is being honored. We will continue to celebrate his life and remember him, today and forever as a beloved Husband, Father, Teacher, and Friend.”

Prior to his retirement in 2008, Knight won 902 NCAA Division I men’s games. Knight spent 29 seasons in Bloomington and played at the US Military Academy and Texas Tech University.

Known as “The General,” Knight won 11 Big Ten Conference titles and 662 games in 29 seasons at Indiana. The four-year All-State coach led the team to the Final Fours. Knight also coached the US men’s basketball team that won the gold medal at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.

Indiana fired Knight in 2000 after what the school said at the time was “unacceptable behavior.” He then coached at Texas Tech for seven seasons, leading the Red Raiders to four NCAA men’s championships.

He was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 1991, the College Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006 and the IU Athletics Hall of Fame in 2009.

Mike Krzyzewski, a former Duke coach whom Knight coached at Army in the late 1960s, paid tribute to Knight on Wednesday, saying “we lost the greatest coach in the history of basketball today.”

“Obviously, he was one of a kind. Coach Knight recruited me, mentored me, and had a huge impact on my career and life. This is a great loss for our sport and our family is deeply saddened by his death,” said Krzyzewski, the NCAA Division I leader with 1,202 wins when he retires in 2022.

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Bob Knight, coaching Indiana University in 1994, yells and points during a game against Kentucky.

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Knight, playing at Ohio State, competes for the ball in 1961.

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Knight is pictured with Boston College coach Bob Cousy and Tennessee coach Ray Mears before the National Invitation Tournament in 1969. Knight coached the Army men’s basketball team from 1963 to 1971.

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Knight talks to Indiana Hoosiers players during halftime in 1973.

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Knight sits in the locker room after a game in 1973.

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Knight is escorted off the court by a crying Quinn Buckner, left, and Scott May after the Hoosiers won the 1976 NCAA championship.


Knight hugs his mother, Hazel, after Indiana’s 1976 NCAA championship game.

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Knight was photographed with his family in Bloomington, Indiana, in 1981.

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Knight speaks to a group of young basketball players attending the Bobby Knight Basketball School in 1983.

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Knight speaks with Pat Summitt, Tennessee women’s basketball coach, in 1982. Knight and Summitt coached the US men’s and women’s basketball teams at the 1984 Olympics.

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The US Men’s basketball team carries Knight after he won the gold medal at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles.


Knight put the chair down during Indiana’s 72-63 loss to Purdue in 1985.

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Knight wears Michael Jordan’s jersey in 1994.

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Knight and Michigan State coach Tom Izzo speaks before a game in 2000.


Knight stands with his wife Karen after speaking to Indiana University students after he was fired in 2000. Indiana fired Knight after what the school said at the time was “a pattern of unacceptable behavior.”

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Knight appeared on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” in 2002.

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Knight, who coached at Texas Tech from 2001 to 2008, spoke to the team after his team defeated the New Mexico Lobos to give Knight 880 wins in 2007.

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Mike Krzyzewski and Knight embraced after Krzyzewski broke Knight’s record for most career wins in Division I coaching in 2011. Knight was at the game serving as a television commentator. Krzyzewski played guard for Knight at Army and later served as an assistant at Indiana.

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President-elect Donald Trump was introduced by Knight at a campaign rally in 2016.

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Knight and former Indiana Hoosiers linebacker Isaiah Thomas appeared on the court during halftime of the game against the Purdue Boilermakers in 2020.

Quinn Buckner, Indiana’s 1976 All-American and chairman of the IU board of trustees, said it was “a very sad day for the IU basketball family, Indiana University, the state of Indiana, and the sports world as we say goodbye. Coach Knight.”

“One of the things he said to our 1976 team … was you’ll probably never see another team like this again,” Buckner said Wednesday. “Well, I don’t know that we’ll ever see another coach like him again. I think it’s important that people realize that. It was a privilege to train with him, and a privilege to have him as a friend. Because as great a coach as he was, he was a great friend. He’s a part the biggest part of who we are, and we were very lucky to have him in our lives.”

This is a developing story and will be updated.

CNN’s Steve Almasy contributed to this report.

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