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Published: Monday, 2/4/2008

Texas Tech coach Bob Knight resigns unexpectedly

ASSOCIATED PRESS
Texas Tech basketball coach Bob Knight shouts at an official following a foul call against his team during a NCAA basketball game against Texas A&M in Lubbock, Texas, on Jan. 16, 2008. Texas Tech basketball coach Bob Knight shouts at an official following a foul call against his team during a NCAA basketball game against Texas A&M in Lubbock, Texas, on Jan. 16, 2008.
TONY GUTIERREZ / AP Enlarge

LUBBOCK, Texas Bob Knight resigned Monday at Texas Tech, a stunning midseason move by the winningest men s coach in major college basketball.

He said he was tired and that it was best to go ahead and do it now, Texas Tech chancellor Kent Hance told The Associated Press. I think Bob is through with coaching. I think he got to the point where it wasn t fun for him.

Known as much for his fiery temper as his basketball brilliance, Knight gave no hint a change was coming. He will be replaced by his son, Pat, a Red Raiders assistant.

The 67-year-old Knight informed Texas Tech athletic director Gerald Myers of his decision in a meeting around noon, Hance said. Knight then called Hance and told him.

He thought about it Sunday all day and talked to his wife and decided This is something I want to do, Hance said.

The Red Raiders beat Oklahoma State 67-60 on Saturday, giving Knight his 902nd victory. He won national titles at Indiana in 1976, 81 and 87.

Bob Knight throws a chair across the floor to protest a technical foul during an Indiana basketball game against Purdue University in Bloomington, Ind., in February, 1985. Bob Knight throws a chair across the floor to protest a technical foul during an Indiana basketball game against Purdue University in Bloomington, Ind., in February, 1985.
ANONYMOUS / AP Enlarge

Knight was not available for comment Monday, said Randy Farley, a spokesman for the Texas Tech basketball program.

The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal first reported the resignation.

In September, Knight signed a three-year contract extension that runs through the 2011-12 season. In 2005, Pat Knight was appointed his father s successor.

Knight arrived at Texas Tech in March 2001, six months after being fired by Indiana for what school officials there called a pattern of unacceptable behavior.

In his first six years at Tech, he led the Red Raiders to five 20-win seasons, a first at the school. They are 12-8 this season, including Knight s 900th victory last month against Texas A&M.

Texas Tech s next game is Wednesday night at Baylor.

Knight passed former North Carolina coach Dean Smith as the winningest Division I coach Jan. 1, 2007, getting career win No. 880. To celebrate the milestone Knight chose My Way by Frank Sinatra, a mantra for how he navigated his personal and professional worlds.

Bob is kind of a funny guy. He always loved that song My Way, and this is another example, Hance said.

Back then, Knight explained why My Way was so fitting.

I ve simply tried to do what I think is best, Knight said. Regrets? Sure. Just like the song. I have regrets. I wish I could done things better at times. I wish I would have had a better answer, a better way, at times. But just like he said, I did it my way and when I look back on it, I don t think my way was all that bad.

Knight has been a college coach for 42 years. He broke in at Army in 1965, but made his mark in 29 years at Indiana.

He s a complex package, someone who can hit a policeman, throw a chair across the court or be accused of wrapping his hands around a player s neck, yet never gets in trouble for breaking NCAA rules, always has high a graduation rate and gave his salary back a few years ago because he didn t think he d earned it.

Maybe he thought it was the right time for Pat and give him a shot, former Temple coach John Chaney said.

Knight got his 100th victory at Army, then moved to Indiana, where his Hoosiers went 662-239 from 1971-2000.

His first NCAA title came in 1976 when Indiana went undefeated, a feat no team has accomplished since. In 1984, he coached the U.S. Olympic team to a gold medal in Los Angeles.

When he began his college coaching career at Army, he was 24, the youngest-ever Division I coach. Knight won 20 or more games in 29 seasons.

Read more in later editions of The Blade and toledoblade.com



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