Associated PressLUBBOCK, Texas – Bob Knight resigned Monday at Texas Tech University, a stunning midseason move by the winningest men’s coach in major college basketball.
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.
Chris Cook, a spokesman for athletic director Gerald Myers, confirmed the resignation, which was first reported by the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal.
In September, Knight signed a three-year contract extension that runs through the 2011-12 season. In 2005, Pat Knight was appointed his father’s successor.
“Coach Knight has had a great career. His coaching record speaks for itself. His love for basketball is clear, but most importantly his love for teaching and the students has been a hallmark of his tenure here at Texas Tech,” said Sally Logue Post, a spokeswoman for Texas Tech.
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.