Athletics News

Bob Knight to be Inducted into Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame

Bob Knight was a three-year letterwinner at Ohio State who went on to post 902 wins as a collegiate coach.
Bob Knight was a three-year letterwinner at Ohio State who went on to post 902 wins as a collegiate coach.

July 20, 2012

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Bob Knight, a member of the 1960 NCAA Champion Ohio State men's basketball team who went on to become one of the most successful collegiate basketball coaches in history, will be inducted into the Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame this fall, Bernie Brown, Men's Varsity "O" Alumni Association president, announced Friday. Knight will be the first to enter the Hall of Fame in the lifetime achievement category.

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. More information on the honorees is available online: http://go.osu.edu/2012HOF.

Knight said he looks forward to the Ohio State Hall of Fame events.

“I have probably been as big a fan of Ohio State Athletics as I was when I was in school or as a kid,” Knight said. “The football and basketball team scores are the first I look for.

"I enjoyed very much going to school there," Knight said. "I always talk about my background there and the coaches and players I encountered at Ohio State. Whatever I’ve done in my life, this has been more important to me. This pleases me more than anything I’ve ever been a part of. This is something that really means a lot to me.”

The lifetime achievement category was created earlier this year to honor outstanding former Buckeyes who have excelled in their careers after leaving Ohio State. It is not an annual award. The criteria for a lifetime achievement inductee is someone who has reached the highest, most exclusive level of success in his industry, sport or profession. While that success may or may not have any connection to the Varsity "O" letter he obtained at Ohio State, the unparalleled success the inductee has achieved in his career brings honor and recognition to Ohio State athletics and furthers the reputation of the University in significant ways. This person need not be famous. However, it must be clear he has so excelled in his profession, sport, industry or career that few have achieved, or ever will achieve, the success he has established.

"Our basketball program is thrilled with this recognition of Coach Knight," Thad Matta, Ohio State men's basketball coach, said. "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. Ohio State holds a very special place in his heart and this is another wonderful way to pay tribute to him for his career achievements."

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.

After leaving Ohio State with a degree in history and government in 1962, Knight went on to become one of the most prolific coaches in NCAA basketball history. He finished his 41-year coaching career with a 902-371 record at Indiana, Army and Texas Tech, leading the Hoosiers to three NCAA titles. His career wins total is second only to Duke's Mike Krzyzewski, a protégé of Coach Knight who just last year became the NCAA career wins leader.

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). His Indiana teams played in five Final Fours (1973, 1976, 1981, 1987, 1992) with the 1976 squad standing as the last undefeated team in college basketball (32-0).

The Orrville, Ohio, native was inducted in the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame in 1991 and into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in 2011.

Reservations are now being accepted for the Athletics Hall of Fame Dinner Sept. 14, which will be a joint dinner for the men and women for the first time. The event will be held in the Archie M. Griffin Ballroom at the Ohio Union and begins at 5:30 p.m. with hors d'oeuvres and cocktails; dinner will follow at 6:30 p.m. Individual tickets are $75, with tables of eight available for $600. Payment will not be accepted at the door; reservations and payment must be submitted by Aug. 31. For more information or to register, visit: http://go.osu.edu/halloffamedinner12.

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