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.
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.