Birthdate: October 25, 1940
Birthplace: Massillon, Ohio
High School: Orrville High School
College: The Ohio State University
Year Inducted: Charter Class of 2006
Bob Knight graduated from Orrville High School and went on to play basketball under Hall of Famer Fred Taylor at Ohio State University. They won the NCAA championship in 1960 and were runners-up the following two years. He pursued his passion for basketball off the court as an assistant coach at Cuyahoga Falls High School.
Knight’s extraordinary ability to lead teams to success became readily apparent enabling him to further his coaching career. His head coaching jobs led from the United States Military Academy at West Point to Indiana University to the University to Texas Tech. He became the USMA coach at 24 and thus the youngest varsity coach in major college history. His Indiana teams won 11 Big Ten Championships and participated in five Final Fours. They won NCAA championships in 1976,1981 and 1987.
Bob was named Head Coach at Texas Tech on March 23, 2000. He led Texas Tech to their first NCAA appearance since 1996 with a 23-10 record. His West Point teams led the nation in defense three consecutive years. Coach Knight was national Coach of the Year in 1975, 76, 87, and 89. He was Big Ten Coach of the year in 1973, 75, 76, 87, and 89. Sixteen of his former assistant coaches have become head coaches at the collegiate level. Knight is a demanding disciplinarian with an unusual ability to teach his athletes. Coach Knight became a legend in the world of college basketball while at Indiana University.
Knight’s coaching record over 42 years was 902-371. At the time of his retirement he was the winningest coach in basketball. Since then, Krzyzewski and Jim Boeheim of Syracuse have passed him. In recent years Knight has worked as a basketball analyst for ESPN. In 1984, he became one of only three coaches (Dean Smith and Hank Iba are the others) to win “the Triple Crown of Coaching”: the NIT, NCAA and a Gold Medal in the Olympics.
He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame in 1991. View his acceptance speech here.
In 2015, the Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame honored him with the Ohio Heritage Award.