Chairs are safe from being tossed. Zebras can rest with great ease. Robert Montgomery Knight, the same coach that tossed a chair across the floor of Assembly Hall at Indiana University, beat up a phone on press row, got into it with the NCAA during a press conference at a regional and coached Coach K, stepped down today as head coach of the Texas Tech Red Raiders men's basketball program. Chris Cook, a spokesman for Texas Tech athletic director Gerald Myers, confirmed the resignation, which was first reported by the Avalanche-Journal. 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.
Bob Knight has 902 career wins, more than any coach in the history of Division I men's basketball. Win No. 900 came last month against Texas A&M. The Red Raiders are 12-8 this season. 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. 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. The 67-year-old Knight has been a head coach for 42 years at three Division I schools. He got his 100th victory at Army, then moved to Indiana, where his Hoosiers went 662-239 and won three national championships from 1971-2000.
His first NCAA title came in 1976 when Indiana went undefeated, a feat no team has done since. In 1984, he coached the U.S. Olympic team to a gold medal in Los Angeles. He began his coaching career in 1965 at Army, where at 24 he was the youngest-ever Division I coach. Knight won 20 or more games in 29 seasons.