COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Renowned, and sometimes controversial, college basketball coach Bob Knight has died, his family announced Wednesday. He was 83.
“It is with heavy hearts that we share that Coach Bob Knight passed away at his home in Bloomington surrounded by his family,” a statement posted to the Bob Knight website reads. “We are grateful for all the thoughts and prayers, and appreciate the continued respect for our privacy as Coach requested a private family gathering, which is being honored.”
A star player in high school, Knight eventually went on to play for Ohio State under Basketball Hall of Fame coach Fred Taylor, including as a reservist on the 1960 NCAA championship team.
After college, Knight started his coaching career at Cuyahoga Falls High School in 1962. He then enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving active duty from 1963-65, then as a reservist from 1965-69. During this time, he took a coaching position with the Army Black Knights, first as assistant coach, then head coach at the age of 24.
It was in 1971 that Knight started his legendary career at Indiana University, winning 662 games over a 29-year career.
It was during his time as the Hoosiers’ head coach that Knight’s explosiveness on the sidelines came to prominence. Most famously, Knight threw a chair onto the court in the February 1985 Hoosiers’ 72-63 loss to Purdue.
Knight was fired from the Hoosiers in 2000 after a report aired that accused Knight of choking a former player during a 1997 practice. Knight initially denied the reports, but video from the incident corroborated the player’s accusation. This led to the school instituting a “zero tolerance” policy, which Knight allegedly violated later that year when he grabbed a freshman by the arm and lectured him about being disrespectful. It was one of several complaints filed against Knight that led to his dismissal.
After his career at Indiana, Knight went on to coach at Texas Tech from 2001-2008 before retiring.
In total, Knight finished his coaching career with a record of 902-371, placing him, at the time, at the top of the NCAA Division I men’s basketball winningest coaches list — he has since dropped to fourth.
In his retirement, Knight worked as an analyst and color commentator from 2008 to 2015 for ESPN.
The family did not post a cause of death.