Hall of Fame college basketball coach Bobby Knight has died at 83. During his 29-year reign at Indiana, he led the team to three national championships before being fired for abusive behavior.
“It is with heavy hearts that we share that Coach Bob Knight passed away at his home in Bloomington [Indiana] surrounded by his family,” a statement released by his family on Wednesday read.
“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.”
The statement concluded, “We will continue to celebrate his life and remember him, today and forever as a beloved Husband, Father, Coach, and Friend.”
Knight was as well known for his temper as for his coaching skills and was fired from Indiana in 2000 after a 1997 tape of him choking former player Neil Reid was released.
In his 2016 memoir, former player Todd Jadlow wrote that Knight physically and emotionally abused him. “Knight has previously been associated with acts of inappropriate physical or verbal behavior with his own players, opposing players, opposing coaches, his own coaches and multiple Indiana University employees,” CBS Sports reported in 2016.
The late Brian Dennehy played the often hot-headed coach in 2002’s “A Season on the Brink,” about the team’s 1985 to 1986 season.
Knight’s impressive 40-year career included stints and Texas Tech and Army. His Indiana teams won national championships in 1976, 1981 and 1987 and made the Final Four in 1973 and 1992. He retired in 2008 with a record-setting 902 wins in college basketball.
He also led Team USA to Olympic gold in 1984. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1991 and the College Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006.
The family is asking for donations to the Alzheimer’s Association and Marian University in Indianapolis, Indiana in his honor, KLBK reports.
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