Unexpectedly, Bob Knight's reign at Texas Tech has come to a close. The winningest coach in Division I men's history resigned Monday, leaving the program in the hands of his youngest son, Pat.
There's no denying Knight's place in the lexicon of college basketball with his 902 victories, three national championships and enshrinement in the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1991. Yet, it was the personality that all too often overshadowed the on-court accomplishments. Brash, opinionated and controversial, his temper spawned legend and doomed him at Indiana. There was the infamous chair toss in 1985 against Purdue -- and the choking incident that ultimately led to his being fired from Indiana in 2000 for a "pattern of unacceptable behavior." He spent 29 seasons in Bloomington.
He popped up in Lubbock, Texas, a year after his dismissal from IU and while he was never able to duplicate the level of success he had at Indiana, he did lead the Red Raiders to five 20-win seasons, including a Sweet 16 run in 2005.
Often willing to go toe-to-toe with the media, he sometimes flashed his soft side. Following an Ohio State-Texas Tech game in 2004, Knight came off the Schottenstein Center court and after begrudgingly answering questions in the press conference, he was hounded by a small group of reporters looking for one last word. Telling them he was done, he walked away form the group and was approached by a local radio reporter who had multiple sclerosis. Knight put his arm around the visibly nervous reporter and took him aside and patiently walked him through the interview. The two then spent the better part of 10 minutes talking.
How will you remember Knight? Will it be for the legendary temper or for his ability to win with players who may not have been highly recruited but were willing to buy into a proven system? Whether you focus on the anger of the accolades, there's no denying there was only one Bob Knight?