Coach Bobby Knight Returns to IU After 20 Years
On Saturday Feb 8 former Indiana University head basketball coach Bobby Knight made a triumphal return to IU's Assembly Hall where he coached the Hoosiers to three national championships and 11 Big 10 conference titles. The 79 year old "General" was stooped and obviously walking with some difficulty as he was helped onto the court at halftime by two of his greatest players, Scott May and Quinn Buckner. Many other IU greats were there to greet him as you can see in the above photo.
Coach Knight was at the helm of the Hoosiers for 27 years until relieved of his coaching duties in 2000 after an altercation with an abusive student. Coach Knight was somewhat bitter over his firing and rebuffed several IU invitations to make an appearance in Assembly Hall. His 20 year hiatus ended with a tremendous standing ovation from the crowd. The coach waved his hands to the packed hall and appeared very emotional. The crowd serenaded the old coach with chants of "de-fense, de-fense" and Knight joined in with his own shouts of "play defense!".
After the IU appearance he scooted over to Indy to receive the same enthusiastic reception at the Indiana Pacers game where he was accompanied by former Purdue coach Gene Keady. Both coaches were honored at halftime of that game.
Many basketball fans got what may be their last chance to cheer one of the most successful coaches of all time. The General no doubt slept well Saturday night.