BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) – Bob Knight, the brilliant and flammable coach who won three NCAA titles at Indiana and was the frowning face of college basketball for years, has died. He was 83.
Knight’s family made the announcement on social media Wednesday evening, saying he was surrounded by family members at his home in Bloomington, Indiana.
Knight was among the winningest coaches in the sport, finishing his career with 902 wins in 42 seasons at Army, Indiana and Texas Tech. He also coached the U.S. Olympic team to a gold medal in 1984.
The Hall of Famer didn’t care much what others thought of him. They chose Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” to celebrate his 880th victory in 2007, the record for a Division I men’s coach at the time.
He was nicknamed “The General” and his temper was such that it cost him his job at Indiana in 2000. He once punched a police officer in Puerto Rico, threw a chair across the field and was accused of wrapping his hands around a player’s neck.
His critics were ruthless about his behavior, but his defenders were legion. There was also a side to Knight: he took pride in his players’ high success rates, and during an era of rule-breaking, he was never charged with a major NCAA violation.