Former University of Indiana head coach Bob Knight passed away at the age of 83 yesterday at his home in Bloomington, IN. Knight coached several players that took the floor at Madison Square Garden in a New York Knicks uniform or on the sidelines.
Knight Coached Several Knicks Players and Coaches In His Career
Knight was most famously known for his enigmatic coaching style and passionate outbursts against referees. His verbal and sometimes even physical altercations have been seen around the world.
He coached the Indiana Hoosiers to the 1981 NCAA Championship behind star point guard Isiah Thomas and guard Mike Woodson.
Thomas and Woodson both coached the Knicks. Thomas took over on the sidelines in the Big Apple back in 2006 and stayed with the team until 2008. Woodson was drafted No. 12 overall by the Knicks in 1980 and joined the Knicks as an assistant coach in 2011. He won the head coaching job and led them back to playoff relevancy from 2012-2014.
Knight also coached former Knicks center and NBA Hall-of-Famer Walt Bellamy as well as long-time Knicks center Jared Jeffries.
Knight’s Legacy Extended Beyond The NCAA and NBA
On the international level, Knight led the 1984 U.S.A. men’s basketball team to a gold medal behind superstar Michael Jordan and Knicks all-time great Patrick Ewing. The team was comprised of collegiate players before NBA players were allowed to compete in Olympic play once more in 1992.
Knight has had his footprint placed all over the basketball world. His name is synonymous with the sport at the collegiate level, and many of his players have gone on to excel in the professional ranks. For his excellence, Knight was named AP Coach of the Year three times and was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1991 and the College Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006.
Knight’s family released this message on his official website, commemorating him while also asking for condolences and privacy during the difficult time:
“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,” Knight’s family said. We will continue to celebrate his life and remember him, today and forever as a beloved Husband, Father, Coach, and Friend.”
Knight leaves behind two children. He will be missed by the basketball world at large.