When Knight first became a head collegiate basketball coach at the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1965, he was awarded the honor of being the youngest major college coach at the age of 24. Knight's strongest philosophy as a coach is his emphasis on defense, and at Army, his teams were able to lead the nation in team defense for three consecutive years.
After Bobby Knight's first coaching stint, he accepted the head-coaching job at Indiana University. Knight coached at Indiana University for a heralded 29 seasons. Knight's Hoosier teams were able to win 11 Big Ten Conference Titles (1973-76, 1980-81, 1983, 1987, 1989, 1991, 1993), five Final Four appearances (1973, 1976, 1981, 1987, 1992), one NIT championship (1979), one 32-0 undefeated season (1976), and three NCAA championships (1976, 1981,1987). While coaching his teams to these wonderful championships and honors, Knight was also recognized as National Coach of the Year four times (1975, 1976, 1987, 1989) and Big Ten Coach of the Year six times (1973, 1975, 1976, 1980, 1981, 1989).
Knight also led the United States team to a gold medal in the Pan American games in 1979. In 1984, Knight became one of only four coaches to win an NCAA championship, NIT championship, and an Olympic gold medal. In addition, Bobby was one of only two coaches, Dean Smith being the other, to ever play and coach national championships. For all of Knight's accomplishments, he was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame as a coach on May 13, 1991.
Bobby Knight was somewhat surprised in September of 2000 when he was fired as Indiana head basketball coach and can be quoted as saying, "For the first time in thirty-six years, I don't have a basketball team" (Knight, Hammel, 2002). Bobby Knight was not left without a basketball team for long; in 2001 he became Texas Tech University head basketball coach.
At Texas Tech University, Knight was able to turnaround the program and lead the team back to the NCAA tournament. Following the 2001-2002 season, Knight was named Coach of the Year by Basketball Times and The Dallas Morning News. Bob Knight also received The Coach Clair Bee Award, which honors the Division One Men's Basketball Coach who has made the most significant contribution to basketball during that season. This past season Bobby Knight achieved his 880th career victory and was able to surpass Dean Smith as the NCAA Division I men's all time coaching leader in victories. Knight now has 889 career victories.
All the success that Bobby Knight has been able to attain over the past 40 years shows what a great coach he is. Not many coaches can produce winning season year in and year out. Knight has been able to produce winning seasons year after year because of his innovation and creativity. Simply put, Bob Knight is a hall of famed coach with more accomplishments than many can dream of attaining. It has been said, " that if you want to get a feel for what big-time basketball is really all about, just watch Knight raging on the sidelines." (Isenhour 2003). Knight has made his mark on basketball forever.
Isenhour, Jack.Same. Knight, Different Channel: basketball legend Bob Knight at West point and today. Brassey's, Inc. 2003.
Knight, B. & Hammel, B. Knight: My Story. St. Martin's Press, 2002.
Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. (2005, October 14). Hall of Famers: Bob Knight. Retrieved February 19, 2006 from http://www.hoophall.com/halloffamers/knight.html