Robert Montgomery Knight (born October 25, 1940) is a former American basketball coach. Nicknamed “the General”, Knight won 902 NCAA Division I men’s college basketball games, a record at the time of his retirement, and currently third all-time, behind his former player and assistant coach Mike Krzyzewski of Duke and Jim Boeheim of Syracuse, who are both still active. Knight is best known as the head coach of the Indiana Hoosiers from 1971 to 2000. He also coached at Texas Tech (2001–2008) and at Army (1965–1971).While at Indiana, Knight led his teams to three NCAA championships, one National Invitation Tournament (NIT) championship, and 11 Big Ten Conference championships. His 1975–76 team went undefeated during the regular season and won the 1976 NCAA tournament. The 1976 Indiana squad is the last men’s college basketball team to go undefeated for the entire season. Knight received National Coach of the Year honors four times and Big Ten Coach of the Year honors eight times. In 1984, he coached the USA men’s Olympic team to a gold medal, becoming one of only three basketball coaches to win an NCAA title, NIT title, and an Olympic gold medal.
Knight was one of college basketball’s most successful and innovative coaches, having popularized the motion offense. He has also been praised for running good programs (none of his teams was ever sanctioned by the NCAA for recruiting violations), and most of his players graduated. However, Knight has sparked controversy with his behavior. He famously threw a chair across the court during a game and was once arrested for assaulting a police officer. Knight regularly displayed a volatile nature and was prone to violent outbursts with students and during encounters with members of the press. He was also recorded on videotape grabbing one of his players by the neck. Knight remains “the object of near fanatical devotion” from many of his former players and Indiana fans. Nevertheless, Knight’s combative nature and unacceptable pattern of behavior reached a saturation point, and university president Myles Brand fired him in 2000.In 2008, Knight joined ESPN as a men’s college basketball studio analyst during Championship Week and for coverage of the NCAA Tournament. He continued covering college basketball for ESPN through the 2014–15 season.