Bob Knight Returns to Indiana's Assembly Hall for 1st Time Since 2000 Firing

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistFebruary 8, 2020

Former Indiana basketball head coach Bobby Knight, left, makes his first appearance at Indiana University since his dismissal in September of 2000. Knight, along with former player Isiah Thomas, right, are on the court during a ceremony with the Indiana players of the 1980 Big Ten championship team the halftime of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020, in Bloomington, Ind. (AP Photo/Doug McSchooler)
Doug McSchooler/Associated Press

Hall of Fame coach Bobby Knight returned to Indiana University's Assembly Hall on Saturday for the first time since he was fired as the Hoosiers' men's basketball coach in 2000.

Knight, who was present as part of the celebration for the 1980 Big Ten championship-winning Indiana team, received a hugely positive response from the crowd:

As the 79-year-old Knight made his way through the tunnel and onto the court, fans chanted his name in unison:

Knight also showed some of his trademark fire and intensity during the ceremony:

During his 29 seasons as the head coach at Indiana, Knight went 662-239 and led the Hoosiers to 11 Big Ten titles, five Final Four appearances and three national championships.

The decision to fire Knight in 2000 created a schism between the legendary coach and Indiana University, and according to the Associated Press (h/t ESPN.com), Knight turned down many opportunities to appear at events over the years.

Knight even opted against being present for his induction into the Indiana University athletic Hall of Fame in 2009.

The decision to fire Knight came shortly after video that showed him choking player Neil Reed during a 1997 practice surfaced in 2000. Knight was then hired to be the head coach at Texas Tech in 2001, and he spent seven years at the helm for the Red Raiders.

Overall, Knight went 902-371 during his college coaching career when also taking into account his time at Army prior to joining Indiana. Among Division I men's basketball coaches, Knight is third on the all-time wins list behind Duke's Mike Krzyzewski and Syracuse's Jim Boeheim.

Knight was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1991 and the College Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006.

Despite the energy that Knight's return gave the crowd Saturday, the Hoosiers fell 74-62 to the rival Purdue Boilermakers, dropping their record to 15-8 on the season.

Related

    James Wiseman Speaks on Memphis Saga

    🗣️ Calls NCAA punishment 'unfair' 🌪️ Felt he was in 'middle of hurricane' 🎞 Studying AD, Dirk ahead of draft

    College Basketball logo
    College Basketball

    James Wiseman Speaks on Memphis Saga

    Paul Kasabian
    via Bleacher Report

    HOTH: Trayce Jackson-Davis, Penn State, meeting expectations

    Indiana Hoosiers Basketball logo
    Indiana Hoosiers Basketball

    HOTH: Trayce Jackson-Davis, Penn State, meeting expectations

    Rivals
    via Rivals

    IU Basketball Recruiting: Checking in with 2020 Signee Anthony Leal

    Indiana Hoosiers Basketball logo
    Indiana Hoosiers Basketball

    IU Basketball Recruiting: Checking in with 2020 Signee Anthony Leal

    Mike Schumann
    via The Daily Hoosier

    Sliding Contenders Still Capable of a March Run

    Why you should still believe in these four teams

    College Basketball logo
    College Basketball

    Sliding Contenders Still Capable of a March Run

    Kerry Miller
    via Bleacher Report