Monday, January 01, 2007

Knight Bests Smith's All-Time Coaching Record

IU fans will have mixed emotions about news of former IU men's basketball coach Bobby Knight having surpassed former North Carolina coach Dean Smith's all-time winning record today. Knight, as head coach for Texas Tech, recorded his 880th win with a 70-68 win over New Mexico today.

As one who was never a big Knight fan, I relish the prospect that Knight's record may eventually be overtaken by Duke's Mike Krzyzewski, a former player and assistant for Knight. Krzyzewski, who I think is a better coach, has 765 wins at age 59. Arizona's Lute Olson actually has more wins than Krzyzewski with 772 wins, but he is 72. If the 66-year-old Knight coaches for several more years, he could put his record out of reach for now.


Anonymous said...

Bob Knight is in a class by himself -- you can take that as a negative or a positive.
When IU/Myles dumped him, it said something definitive about the change of course in time for Hoosiers. He was bombasity, obscenity, fidelity, red-sweatered, big-gut largeness of life and, on the court, old-school bb, for better or worse -- and CHARACTER. (except when he was taking pot shots at reporters, literally -- nobody is perfect). He ain't no NPR kind of guy. Our loss? The verdict is still out. He's one for the ages. Time will tell. But for a brief shining moment, he helped define Hoosiers; mashed potatoes, pork, in your face toughness, NO F--bullshit, high academic standards, basketball and total fidelty for his kids. There's a reason most of his former players stay true. Personally, I wish the guy luck -- even tho the sob never gave me the interview I coveted.
Movie optinos? He's the next guy to put us on the Hollywood map. And even as I write this, I can hear the a-hole saying YOU STUPIPD BROAD, YOU SUCK. But who cares? For a time, BK was Indiana; and Indiana was BK.

indyernie said...

I wanted my boys to play for Knight. Didn't happen, but it was a wonderful dream for years.
Love him or hate him he led the Hoosiers his way...I say God bless Bob Knight. I for one miss him in Indiana.

Gary R. Welsh said...

Ruth I agree the emphasis he placed on academics is one aspect of his coaching for which he deserves a lot of respect. Unfortunately, many of his Hoosier fans didn't take any lesson from that part of his coaching. The "Hoosier hysteria" mentality has put doing well in sports like basketball in high school above academics.

Anonymous said...

The assertion that the Hoosier Hysteria mentality emphasizes sports achievement over academic performance is a gross generalization.
The fact is, Indiana high school athletes, as well as those across the nation, generally perform better academically than their peers. That's because those involved in athletics are motivated to learn time management and organizational skills. Additionally, athletics often becomes the carrot before the horse ... academic eligibility is neccessary to compete in sports.
As for Coach Knight, his insistence on academic performance was laudatory, but by no means is he unusual in that regard. Most college coaches -- and I'm talking about all sports -- insist on academic performance from their student athletes. That, too, is borne out by the statistics which show college student athletes performing at a higher level academically than their peers.
Knight got credit because of his high profile and because some other coaches in high profile positions were not as insistent on academics. With new academic progress standards imposed by the NCAA, those coaches are becoming far more the exception than the rule.

Anonymous said...

While Knight has lots of critics, it's worth noting that his former players as a rule seem rabidly loyal. I was on a train in Chicago once and overheard a group arguing about Knight. The person most vocally defending him and talking about how wonderful he thought Knight was happened to be a former player from the 1970's. Today's players may be different, but I certainly don't hear any chorus of former players coming out to berate him, which ought to say something for the guy.

Anonymous said...

I sat two rows behind the IU bench for as season. A ticket mixup for which I was initially pleased, and later, compeltely embarrassed to be an IU Alum. What a complete egomanical ass, and the language--knowing full-well most kids' moms and dads were within earshot. Completely and totally unnecessary to motivte kids. This was 1985 or so...and he was slapping kids--HARD--out of camera range all the time. I was shocked.

I laud his academic standards. Anon 10:22: he was a pioneer among few eqauls on that, for a long time. Hell, the NCAA compliance folks had a semi-permanent office at UK for years.

Lou Henson wasn't much of a coach (Illinois), but he was a nice guy, and he said about Knight: "He's a classic bully."

It's the best description I've heard. Ever. And accurate.

If any of my kids wanted to play BB at that level, I'd have laid down in front of a builldozer to keep them away from Knight. If they still wanted to paly for him, so be it, but the first time he behaved like an ass or touched one of my kids, well...I would've probably needed to raise some bail.

It's this simple: he was brilliant as a coach. Loyal as a father figure. And completely inconsistent--he demanded better treatment of himself than he was willing to give humanity.