Bob Knight, legendary former Indiana University basketball coach, dies

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(WXIN/WTTV) — Legendary former Indiana University men’s basketball coach Bob Knight has died at the age of 83, his family announced Wednesday on his website.

“It is with heavy hearts that we share that Coach Bob Knight passed away at his home in Bloomington surrounded by his family,” the post read. “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.”

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In lieu of flowers, Knight’s family has suggested people send donations in Knight’s honor to the Alzheimer’s Association or Marian University in Indianapolis.

“Donations to any charity in his name are also appreciated,” the family ended their post.

Knight was hospitalized in April with an illness, his family said at the time. No additional details were shared. Knight has been in poor health for several years but still attended some Hoosiers practices this season, which were led by current coach and former Knight pupil Mike Woodson.

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Knight was among the winningest coaches in the sport, finishing his career with 902 victories in 42 seasons at Army, Indiana and Texas Tech. He also coached the U.S. Olympic team to a gold medal in 1984.

Knight won three national championships, 11 Big Ten titles and 662 games at Indiana before being fired in September 2000 after he allegedly grabbed a student by the arm in a hallway. The incident violated a zero-tolerance policy instituted by the university following an investigation into accusations of physical and verbal abuse made by former player Neil Reed, who died of a heart attack in 2012.

In addition to his extended career, Knight was known for his outbursts from the Indiana bench. On February 23, 1985, Coach Knight delivered a signature performance, flinging a chair across the Assembly Hall court during a Purdue free throw attempt.

He was nicknamed “The General” and his temper was such that in 2000 it cost him his job at Indiana. He once hit a police officer in Puerto Rico and was accused of wrapping his hands around a player’s neck.

The Hall of Famer cared little what others thought of him, choosing Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” to celebrate his 880th win in 2007, then the record for a Division I men’s coach.

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After vowing never to return to an Indiana University event, he relented on that promise by attending the Hoosiers’ game against Purdue in February 2020, joined by dozens of his former players and former Purdue coach Gene Keady.

Knight was added to the Basketball of Fame in 1991 to honor his longstanding coaching career.

Dave Griffiths, Tyler Haughn and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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