Legendary IU coach visits Bloomington

Legendary IU coach visits Bloomington

Lucy French, Photographer

Last night, former IU basketball coach, Bob Knight, came to BHSN and shared stories of his legendary coaching career with special guest Bob Hammel, a retired Herald Times sports editor. Knight did admit that he “quite honestly had no interest whatsoever” when he was first asked to speak, but he changed his mind when he remembered how the fans were a tremendous aspect of his team and accomplishments.

Knight spoke a lot about his stories with his players, other coaches, and referees. He did make it a priority to recognize Pat Ryan, wife of IU’s president John Ryan who died little over a year ago. He went over to Ryan and thanked her for her support and mentioned, “My favorite person in all of college sports, was your husband.”

Hammel pointed out some past stats for the audience as well. Thirty years ago, Knight won a national championship with buzzer beater by Keith Smart over Syracuse. Thirty-six years ago, Knight won national championship against North Carolina. Forty-one years ago, Knights team had an undefeated 32-0 season. Knight said, that IU fans “were a tremendous aspect to how we played, because of how hard you cheered for us.”

Knight spoke a little of past officials because as you know, he “yelled every once in a while.” He shared a funny story about an official that told Knight that his fly was down in order to get away from Knight and focus on the game. Knight then bought that official some glasses and presented him with them the next game with a note that said, “maybe this will help you see better.”

Towards the end of the night, the audience got the chance to ask some questions. A girl in red, thanked Knight for coming and speaking and said he “looked good in that red sweater.” Knight took a picture with her and their matching sweaters. Another man asked him about his view on the three-point shot, in which Knight said that there are too many coaches wanting three-point possessions which, in result, lead to a higher percentage of missed shots. Then, Pat Ryan raised her hand and thanked Knight for everything he has done for IU’s “fame”, and mentioned “we miss you.” The audience busted into applause and Knight sat a while, and then asked for the audience to sit back down. He said, “I’ll remember that until I’m gone.”