Legendary college basketball coach Bob Knight has passed away at the age of 83.
Knight’s family made the announcement Wednesday night after his poor health in the last few years led to him being hospitalized with an illness in April.
“It is with heavy hearts that we share that Coach Bob Knight passed away at his home in Bloomington surrounded by his family,” the statement said. “We are grateful for all the thoughts and prayers and appreciate the continued respect for our privacy as Coach requested a private family gathering, which is being honored.”
Knight was best known as the head coach for the Indiana Hoosiers from 1971 until 2000 when he was dismissed after numerous allegations of assaulting students. The school adopted a zero-tolerance behavior with regard to Knight’s antics. He was known for on court outbursts –like that one time he threw a chair across the court– and general volatility.
But during his three-decade-long career, Knight was regarded as one of the best coaches despite his impassioned behavior.
In just his second year of coaching, he led Indiana to winning the Big Ten Championship and to the Final Four, where they ultimately lost to UCLA. The following year, the team would win the Big Ten Championship again and then go undefeated in the regular season for the next two seasons. Finally, in 1976, not only did they win every game, but they captured the title game victory against Michigan.
The success in the ’70s would continue into the 1980s as Knight got the chance to coach players like Mike Woodson and Isiah Thomas. His teams would win two more championships in 1981 and 1987, but he remained a powerhouse in the NCAA tourneys for years to come while breaking records.
After a tumultuous divorce with Indiana, Knight took a year off before taking the head coaching job at Texas Tech. He’d retired in 2008 after leading the team to three NCAA tournament appearances.
Back in 1994, at Indiana’s Senior Day, his brashness was on full display as he addressed the crowd about his own mortality.
“When my time on earth is gone, and my activities here are passed, I want them to bury me upside down, and my critics can kiss my ass,” he said in what may be his most on-brand moment ever.
See how the sports world is reacting to Knight’s death below.
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