In college basketball, the name Coach Bob Knight is synonymous with greatness and winning. He is also well-known for his commitment to mentoring today’s young athletes, making him a perfect choice as Keynote Speaker for the 2011 Henry P. Iba Citizen Athlete Awards.
Few coaches have possessed the ability to carry sports past being simply a game. Bob Knight is one of the few.
No other coach in the United States has guided teams to every major title-three NCAA championships, an NIT title, the Pan American gold and the Olympic gold medal. He is an innovator. When Bob Knight arrived at Indiana University in 1971, Big Ten offensive averages came down as other coaches copied his successful passing-game offense and tenacious man-to-man defense. But most importantly, Bob Knight is a teacher. Over 90 percent of his players have graduated, but their most valuable lesson comes from their coach. Indiana players learn to accomplish more than they thought possible.
The Accomplishments: In his years at Indiana, Bob Knight’s teams have compiled a record of 486-160 for a .752 winning percentage. Indiana has played in 16 NCAA tournaments under Bob Knight, winning national championships in 1976, 1981 and 1987 and finishing third in 1973 and 1992. National Coach-of-the-Year by unanimous selection in 1975; Coach-of the-Year by AP and Basketball Weekly in 1976; 1987 Naismith Coach-of-the-Year; and Coach-of-the-Year by Associated Press, United Press International and United States Basketball Writers in 1989. Head coach for gold medal-winning Olympic team at the XXIII Olympiad in Los Angeles and for the gold medal winning Pan American team in 1979.
In achieving undefeated regular seasons in 1975 and 1976, the Hoosiers won 37 consecutive Big Ten games and hold the 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5-year Big Ten records for most wins. Bob Knight has coached a National Player-of-the-Year, 11 All-Americans, and eight Big Ten Most Valuable Players. Seventeen Knight players have been All-Big Ten choices on 26 different occasions, five have become Olympians and five have played on Pan American teams.
Committed to mentoring, Coach Knight’s coaching techniques and teaching skills place him in great demand as a clinic speaker around the country. High school coaches flock to his clinics, and his summer camp for youngsters is always filled to capacity with a waiting list. Bob Knight has long been active in the National Association of Basketball Coaches, serving in various capacities. He served a term as a trustee of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and was named an honorary member of Beta Gamma Sigma, the national business honor society. He has also lent his name to help support charitable and youth organizations.
The works of Bob Knight stretch far beyond the realm of his numerous achievements and highly recognized status on the hardcourt. In August, 2003, he was honored as the first inductee in The Vince Lombardi Titletown Legends. The honor and responsibility pays tribute to those individuals who possess the characteristics instilled by Vince Lombardi in all his players; Dedication, Teamwork, Respect, Love, Family, and Discipline.
A native of Orrville, Ohio, Robert Montgomery “Bobby” Knight is a graduate of Ohio State where he was a member of the Buckeye hardwood teams that won Big Ten titles in 1960, 1961, and 1962 and the NCAA in 1960 while posting an overall record of 78-6. Many of the Big Ten team records that Knight’s Indiana teams shattered were those he had a part in making as an Ohio State University player.