Bob Knight Joins Ohio State’s 2012 Hall of Fame
Basketball coach first selection in lifetime achievement category
By Brandon Castel
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Bob Knight’s circle of life is complete—at least his basketball life.
The one-time Buckeye role player turned public enemy No. 1 will join the 2012 Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame class as the first-ever recipient of the “lifetime achievement” honor for all he has accomplished in the game of basketball.
Although better known for his coaching successes, Knight lettered three seasons at Ohio State for legendary coach Fred Taylor, serving as a reserve forward on the Buckeyes' 1960 national championship team and helping them make appearances in the NCAA title game in both 1961 and 1962. He played in 74 games over the course of his career, averaging 3.8 points and 2.1 rebounds per game.
“Our basketball program is thrilled with this recognition of Coach Knight,” OSU men’s basketball coach Thad Matta, said in a statement.
“Coach told me personally how honored he was last year receiving the University Ambassador medal. I know being inducted into the Athletics Hall of Fame this year is something that will also mean a great deal to him.”
It was not that long ago Knight would have had a hard time showing his face around Columbus. After leaving Ohio State in 1962, Knight enlisted in the U.S. Army and accepted an assistant coaching position with the Army Black Knights.
Two years later, he would become the head coach at West Point, at the young age of 24 years old. It was in 1971, however, that Knight accepted the head-coaching job at Indiana University.
Nicknamed “The General” for his harsh coaching methods and disciplinarian nature, Knight would become one of the most divisive figures in all of college basketball. He led the Hoosiers to 662 wins, including 22 seasons of 20 or more wins—a remarkable .735 winning percentage.
He led Indiana to five NCAA Final Four appearances and three NCAA Championships (1976, ‘81 and ‘87), including the last undefeated season (32-0) in major college basketball back in 1975-76.
Knight was thoroughly booed on every trip to Columbus during his 29 years at Indiana, but the relationship started to soften when Knight became the head coach at Texas Tech back in 2001. It was during a visit to Ohio State with the Red Raiders in 2003 that Knight downplayed the hard feelings between himself and fans of his alma mater.
The 71-year old Ohio native was recently was honored with the University Ambassador medal at Value City Arena. It was during a game against visiting Indiana, and Ohio State officials made sure the Hoosiers knew Ohio is “still the home of Bob Knight” with a video board tribute for the Orrville native.
“Ohio State holds a very special place in his heart,” Matta said, “and this is another wonderful way to pay tribute to him for his career achievements.”
In addition to NCAA titles in 1976, 1981 and 1987, Knight guided Indiana to 11 Big Ten championships and was the conference’s coach of the year eight times. He is one of three coaches to lead a team to NCAA and NIT titles (1979) and an Olympic gold medal (1984).
He was inducted in the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame in 1991 and into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in 2011.
With the addition of Knight, the 2012 Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame class totals 12 members. He joins Louise Bond-Williams (fencing), Pete Cusick (football), Jessica Davenport (basketball), George Downes (wrestling), Joseph Gailus (football), Ray Griffin (football), Rex Holman (wrestling), Keturah Lofton (track and field), Dick Schafrath (football), Jim Stone (volleyball coach) and Mike Vrabel (football).
The class will be inducted Sept. 14 at a dinner and will be introduced to the public at halftime of the Ohio State home football game against California Sept. 15.
Donate by Check :
1380 King Avenue
Columbus, Ohio 43212
Help us bring you more Buckeye coverage. Donate to the-Ozone.
Click here to email this the-Ozone feature to a friend...or even a foe.
(c) 2010 The O-Zone, O-Zone Communications, Inc. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, rebroadcast,rewritten, or redistributed.