'Icons' spotlights Indiana's Bobby Knight

Indiana’s legendary Bob Knight, who led the Hoosiers to 11 Big Ten titles and three NCAA Championships in 29 seasons as the head men’s basketball coach, was profiled Sunday in a new episode of Big Ten Icons, presented by Discover. Hosted by Hall of Fame broadcaster Keith Jackson, the show included new one-on-one interviews with former Indiana first -team All-Americans Steve Alford and Isiah Thomas; Big Ten coaches Tom Izzo and Bruce Weber; award-winning journalists Jack Ebling and Mike DeCourcy, and others.

Nicknamed “The General,” Knight owns 902 coaching wins, ranking second all-time among NCAA Division I coaches. The six-time Big Ten Coach of the Year transformed Bloomington, Ind., into a basketball Eden, leading the Hoosiers to NCAA titles in 1976, 1981 and 1987 on the pillars of effort, discipline and sound fundamentals.

“Bobby Knight was a basketball purist,” Ebling said. “The thing I liked best about Bob Knight was, he coached against the game, not the opposition. He could be very happy with his team, in defeat, and he could be very upset with a 40-point win, if they hadn’t been true to the game and the principles he taught.”

Thirteen years after leading the Hoosiers to the 1987 title, Knight’s illustrious reign over the Indiana program came to a controversial end. Yet many of his players still appreciate the way he educated them, both in basketball and in life.

“Words can’t really express how fortunate I feel, to have been coached by Bob Knight,” Thomas said. “Had I not gone to Indiana, and had Coach Knight not coached me, I don’t think I ever would have been the player that I became, or the person that I am.”

6 Comments

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Kelly Hughes on 3/1/2012 @ 12:02am EDT Said:

I am so very grateful to you for recognizing one of the best basketball of all time!! It’s time that Indiana University quit acting as if he never existed especially since he practically put them on the map nationally. Although the media portrayed him as a controversial coach, almost any of his players will tell you what a great man he truly is. I hope IU will do the right thing someday before he’s gone and name the Assembly Hall (the same as the University of Illinios and completely unoriginal!) Bob Knight Arena. I hope he will come back and accept the award where he gave so much as well. Thank you for honoring such an amazing basketball coach and mentor.

Bill Hufnagel on 3/3/2012 @ 6:25pm EDT Said:

As a hugh Bob Knight fan, I certainly have no problem with him being chosen as IU’s BT Icon. However, it must be noted that 2 other coaches at IU won more national titles than him during their tenures. Doc Councilman and Jerry Yeagley need to be recognized for their great accomplishments while coaching at IU.

Jon on 3/4/2012 @ 12:11pm EDT Said:

Hey Kelly,

Get a clue before you go on a rant. IU has tried several times to reach out to him and even inducted him into their Hall of Fame. Of course, he’s a crotchy old man that couldn’t even be there to acknowledge IU’s gesture.

It’s a two-way street and Knight refuses to begin going down the road.

IU is far greater than any one individual, especially one that has such little appreciation for what IU did for him!

JOE on 3/4/2012 @ 10:01pm EDT Said:

COACH BOB KNIGHT WAS THE GREATEST BASKETBALL MIND AND MENTOR FOR ANYONE WANTING TO LEARN THE FUNDAMENTALS OF BASKETBALL. THE TROUBLE WAS THE WEENEY PLAYERS WHO WOULDNT TAKE HIS INSTRUCTION IN A POSITIVE MANNER. SOME WERE JUST PUNKS CRYIN TO THEIR MOMMYS.I WOULD HAVE LOVED FOR MY SON TO HAVE HAD A CHANCE OF PLAYING FOR HIM, HE WOULD HAVE LEARNED MUCH MORE THAN BASKETBALL. HE WOULD HAVE LEARNED HOW TO BE A BETTER MAN.

Alan on 3/4/2012 @ 11:51pm EDT Said:

I was a sophomore at IU when Bob Knight was hired from Army. He was a total unknown ….but we soon learned that he meant business when Ed Daniels was dismissed from the team before the season even started. Joby Wright changed from a non-speaking lazy guy to a straight-laced, hard working player. I adored Bobby for so many years…but at the end, it was time for him to go…it had become Bob Knight U instead of IU. The university has reached out to him many times to make amends, Tom Crean being a leader in that regard, but Bobby won’t let down his stubborn side to allow thousands of Hoosier fans to say thanks one last time. What a sad, sad ending to the story……or is it……there is always hope.

Jeremy Brandt on 3/8/2012 @ 2:17pm EDT Said:

I wish that Illinois would hire Bobby Knight as their head basketball coach, assuming they decide to go ahead and can Bruce Weber as I and the rest of the Illini Nation assume they will do in the coming weeks if not today.

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