End of the Bobby Era

February 4, 2008 at 10:35 pm Leave a comment

I don’t think I have been more shocked to read a headline than I was 10 minutes ago. To see “Texas Tech coach, Bob Knight, resigns midseason” just stopped me cold. I don’t ever remember a time that I wasn’t a Bobby Knight and a Hoosier basketball fan. I grew up on it. When I was in first grade, we moved to Greenwood, Indiana and it started then. Did it start before then, I have no idea. But I can say for sure it has been going ever since.

I chose to go to IU as an undergrad in large part because of Bobby Knight, college basketball, the Hoosier tradition, and to be back home in Indiana. While at IU, I worked on the Lilly Endowment Fund, a program to raise monies for the school library, in conjunction with Coach Knight. He was selfless, tireless, and dedicated to the cause without hesitation. By sheer coincidence, I was visiting IU the weekend that the “incident” occurred that ended up causing the end of his career at IU. I will forever think that kid was a punk, with little respect for the game, the Coach, or the institution. I believe Miles Brand kowtowed. It was a rare moment in history in which I was sad for how IU acted but was grateful for the campus connection during the firestorm.

He left, but my love for IU has remained. Alas, my love for Texas Tech emerged shortly thereafter. I followed my Coach and my heart while the Red Raiders emerged victorious under his leadership. Do I think Coach Knight’s methods are the best? Not always, but I have always been proud of how clean his programs are, the graduation rates of his players, the loyalty he inspires in his players and coaches, and most of all, his knowledge of the game. He is a great coach to watch. I will truly miss this man. This Coach.

Denounce his methods all you want but this is a Coach …

  • whose first NCAA title came in 1976 when Indiana went undefeated, a feat no team has accomplished since.
  • who has won national titles at IU in 1976, ’81 and ’87.
  • who has led the Red Raiders to five 20-win seasons, a first at the school.
  • who passed former UNC coach Dean Smith as the winningest Division I coach Jan. 1, 2007, getting career win No. 880. His record will stand at 902 wins.
  • who coached the 1984 U.S. Olympic team to a gold medal in Los Angeles.
  • who began his coaching career at Army at the age of 24, the youngest-ever Division I coach.
  • who has won 20 or more games in 29 seasons.

College basketball has lost something special in my opinion but I know he made the right choice at the right time for the right reasons. His son Pat will be a great coach for the Red Raiders and I will continue to follow them, just as I continue to follow Steve Alford, Coach K and others who have worked with Bobby Knight. Coach, hope the fly fishing treats you well!

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All Hail the Groundhog Hoosier Ball

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