CHICAGO (WLS) — Bobby Knight, the legendary Indiana University basketball coach, has died at the age of 83.
A statement shared Wednesday afternoon on his official website said, “It is with heavy hearts that we share that Coach Bob Knight passed away at his home in Bloomington surrounded by family. We are grateful for all the thoughts and prayers and appreciate the continued respect for our privacy as Coach requested a private family gathering, which is being honored.”
The message also askes mourners to donate to the Alzheimer’s Association or Marion University in lieu of flowers.
Knight became the youngest coach at a Division I school in 1965 when he broke in at Army at 24. But he made his mark in 29 years at Indiana, including winning a school-record 661 games and reaching the NCAA tournament 24 times in 29 seasons. He coached Indiana to three championships, the last one being in 1987 against Syracuse.
In 1984, he coached the U.S. Olympic team to a gold medal in Los Angeles, the last American amateur team to claim Olympic gold. Knight won 20 or more games in 29 seasons, compiling a career record of 902-371.
He coached for Indiana from 1971 to 2000, then coached Texas Tech from 2001 to 2008 before retiring.
The Hall of Famer cared little what others thought of him, choosing Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” to celebrate his 880th win in 2007, then the record for a Division I men’s coach.
He was nicknamed “The General” and his temper was such that in 2000 it cost him his job at Indiana. He once hit a police officer in Puerto Rico, threw a chair across the court and was accused of wrapping his hands around a player’s neck.
But he took pride in his players’ high graduation rates, and during a rule-breaking era he never was accused of a major NCAA violation.
ESPN and the Associated Press contributed to this report