Being a born and raised Indiana Boy, I grew up watching and playing basketball. Indiana is known for Hoosier Hysteria. Following in my fathers footsteps, I am a HOOSIER that attended the University of Indiana. Basketball is 2nd nature to us here in IN. So this week, when I saw Bobby Knight announce abruptly his resignation at Texas Tech, I thought back reflecting on his achievement's +++ GOOD and BAD +++ and wanted to share them from my perpective.
You can not look at this coach and not be in awe by what he has achieved and contributed to the College Basketball World. Let's take a look at the incredible awards and success this man has attained. Some awards and achievements may NEVER be broken.
* Winn-ingest Collegiate Men's Basketball Coach with 902 Wins
* NCAA Division I Championships in 1976 - 1981 & 1987
* National Invitation Champions - 1979
* 1976 - The Last ever Undefeated College Team
* Big 10 Champions 1973 - 1974 - 1975 - 1976 - 1980 - 1981 - 1983 - 1987 - 1989 - 1991 & 1993
* Big 10 Coach of the Year - 1973 - 1975 - 1976 - 1980 - 1981 - & 1989
* Henry Iba Award 1975 & 1989
* Naismith College Coach of the Year Award - 4 Times
* Clair Bee Coach of the Year Award - 2002
* In 1984 he coached the US Mens Olympic Team with Michael Jordan to a Gold Medal - Only 3 other Coaches have achieved what is call the triple-crown: Winning a NCAA Title, a NIT Title, and an Olympic Gold Medal!
His Coaching and records at the schools are what some college current and future coach's may only dream about;
He Coached Army from 1965 - 1971 where he was 102-50.
He Coached Indiana University from 1971 - 2000 where he compiled a staggering 661 - 240 Record Overall and 353 - 151 in Big Ten Conference Play.
In 2001, he departed Indiana University due to violations of the infamous "Zero Tolerance" label the Miles Brand put on Coach Knight and proceeded to take the Head Coaching Job at Texas Tech University. He complied a 138 - 82 Overall Record and 53-49 Conference Record from 2001 - 2008. He turned around the Texas Tech program in his first year where they went to the NCAA First Round. Next season NIT Semi - Finals, then to the 2nd Round of the NCAA, then to the Sweet Sixteen the following year, missed it all in 06/07- back to the First Round again.
NO ONE should or can refute Coach Knights Record on the floor in terms of wins and losses. Most definitely, his accountability of his players has never been challenged. Not one time was his program EVER investigated for wrong-doings by the NCAA and most every one of Coach Knights players Graduated! Very few today can say that. All the good he has done and yet there are so many tarnishes that some believe blemish his success...here are just a few:
* 1979 Knight was arrested for allegedly assaulting a Police Officer in Puerto Rico at the Pan American Games. The charges were eventually dropped.
* 1985 - The Most Famous Act I have ever have witnessed deemed "The Chair Hurled Halfway Around the World" in which Coach Knight threw a chair across the basketball court. Obviously, he disagreed with a Referee's Call (by the way, he did often). Of course this occurred while Indiana was playing in-state arch-rival Purdue!
* 1993 Knight allegedly kicked his own son Patrick Knight (now the head coach at Texas Tech).
* He had a tirade at the press conference immediately following the 1995 NCAA Tournament loss to Missouri.
* In February 2004 he made national headlines when he had an argument outside a supermarket in Lubbock, Texas with Chancellor David Smith.
* November 13, 2006 an altercation with Texas Tech player Michale Prince. Prince made clear this was not what it seemed.
AND --- Most recently over national T.V and You Tube etc...Coach Knights run in with James Simpson who accused Knight of firing a shotgun in his direction.
OK... I am sure everyone will, and does, have an opinion about Coach Bobby Knight. Good or Bad, one thing that NO ONE can take away is his achievements and accolades and most of all the RESPECT he has throughout all of College Basketball. He will go down as the Winn-ingest Coach of all time. Yes, his in-game behavior and antics have caused him to be basketball's most controversial coach, but as I said earlier, he has to be commended for running one of the most cleanest programs. None of his teams have ever been sanctioned by the NCAA and his extremely high percentage of graduating players sets him apart! Good or Bad thoughts, we all will have them based on experiences and/or what one sees.
I'd like to share my one and only encounter I had personally with this legendary Coach -1 on 1 .
It was my freshman year at I. U. The year that the book "Season on the Brink" was written. So I decided since I had a free 3 hours between classes, I would head over to the Coach's Office at Assembly Hall in Bloomington and try to meet Coach Knight and have him sign the book! I walked in and could hear him talking on the phone. His secretary asked if she could help me, I said "I would like to meet Coach Knight and get his autograph" she told me he was busy and to come back another time. In a split second, Coach Knight abruptly shouted "Wait a minute, tell that kid I wanna talk to him" I was thinking "oh "****" ( he can be intimidating to say the least :) I heard Coach Knight say, "Havlicek, I need to call you back. There is a student outside and I wanna talk with him." (He was referring to Boston Celtic Great John Havlicek). He then asked me to enter his office..I did..WOW...awards galore! Next he said, "Why the **** aren't you in class ?" I told him I had none, he then asked me to produce my Class Schedule to Prove it! Well thank goodness I had it on me. I showed him and he said "Great, now that we have that cleared up let me see what you want signed" I pulled out the book and UH OH....not a good thing...he grabbed the book and threw it in the trash saying "I am not gonna sign that piece of ***** written about me". I thought I was in some deep trouble. He then reached under his desk and pulled out an Official NCAA Game Ball and went on to sign the ball for me (which I later gave to my father, also an IU Alumni). He talked to me for at least 30 minutes on studying hard,getting an education and succeeding in life. I was glued to every word he said. "That may have been the one of the most impressionalble and incredible 30 minutes of my life !
Not everyone like's him. Not everyone respect's him. But not everyone had the experience I had with him either. Coach Robert Montgomery Knight will go down in history as the Winn-ingest Coach in Collegiate Basketball History and how he got there years down the road may only be asterisks... he contributed to the College Basketball world for my goodness over 53 years..The only question burning now is this???.
"Will Coach Knight return soon and Coach Again ?" Some believe he will, as Dick Vitale hinted on ESPN in the Duke v North Carolina game.
One thing is for certain..IT WILL BE IF & WHEN COACH KNIGHT DECIDES !
Editorial Written By Jeff Safrin
Jeff & Grace Safrin, REALTORS "Spouses Selling Houses"TM
F.C. Tucker Advantage Realty
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