Legendary Coach Bobby Knight passes

So I wrote this up on Facebook, just wanted to repeat it here:

The world lost a great man today. Bobby Knight. I had the pleasure of fishing with him in Argentina.

Not long after the great sports announcer and outdoors Kurt Gowdy passed away, both Coach Knight and I sat on the banks of the Lamay River where I listened to many of the stories of his lifetime buddy, Gowdy. And how Gowdy, Knight, and the great baseball legend, Ted Williams, would sneak off to some foreign country like Cuba or Russia by making just a phone call.  We picked the Lamay because that is where Gowdy started The American Sportsman. I spent two weeks with Coach bouncing around the different rivers in Argentina. We were accompanied by his dear wife, Karen, along with fishing legend Kohn Smith. Many of you will remember him for his anger, but I will tell you a few things I know about the man:

He never cheated

He won his 3 national championship s and 5 final fours with hard-working players, and he only had one All American in all the years he coached and that was Isaiah Thomas.

He graduated most of his players as he made them get college degrees.

There has been around 50 players and assistants to Coach Knight that have gone on to become head coaches. Most of you will recognize Mike Krzyzewski, but there are many more. He probably has done more for the sport of basketball outside of any one man I can think of with exception to UCLA’s John Wooden.

He would host basketball camps in the West just so he can get on our famous rivers.

It was on the Río Foyel river that I presented with him a Sage rod with the name  “Coach Knight - 803 wins”. The winningest coach in NCAA history at the time. It moved him to tears.

One last thing, when I arrived in Argentina, there someone with a big sign with my name waiting for me. When I said I had to get my bags, the courier said told me to follow him. We didn’t even go through Customs. We went through a side door, and there was our party, my bags, and a big blue limousine with a motorcade . We made our next flight with ease. When I asked who the ride was from, Coach Bobby Knight winked and said, “It’s from the president of Argentina.”

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Thanks for sharing Chris.

I love it!

Wow-that was really awesome. Great coach-great individual-Thanks for sharing!

:+1: thanks for sharing

As an IU grad, it was impossible not to know of Coach Knight.
My best teachers there were there in large part because of the great basketball he brought to the Hoosier faithful…for that matter so was I.
I will also forever remember one of my profs at BYU saying he hated football, but he loved what Lavell Edwards did for the university.
Peterson at BSU and Few at Gonzaga are the only other coaches I have known that had such effects on their institutions…
Elite men

Harold I hope the BYU BOT reads your post. And thus the supreme all around importance of an elite athletic department at any major university.

Great post. A lot can come from one person who’s focus is on others and is dedicated to excellence. There are just not enough of them.
Thanks for sharing.

Having graduated from the University of Chicago, and taught at other major universities without elite athletic departments, I sympathize with your idea…but have to demur on the principal.

Great universities, used to be defined by their faculty and library; the athletic programs can support both endeavors. With our modern access to information, today a great university is defined more by faculties than anything else…though I will admit having been faculty perhaps I am a bit biased.

For BYU, with the burden, yes I know it is a blessing as well at times, of facing the bias against it. And the limitations on its faculty, and for that matter its athletic programs, being strong on the athletic field I think will definitely help the strength of the faculty long term…

Not that my opinion is worth much. The University Chicago Library system is the only one I am well acquainted with whose holdings surpass the quality of BYU’s on the subject of scripture and religion more generally. I still, on occasion, when I am in Provo go to the religion section of the library and reminisce about when I had access to such holdings. Though of course here I am biased as well by my religion…

I certainly mean no disrespect to you. I in fact have Lots of respect for your background. U Chicago is truly elite and I’m sure you taught at a bunch of schools with better academics than where I went (BYU ‘90 and Willamette University Law). But I have become SOOOOOOO cynical and skeptical about the college experience that it’s hard for me to maintain any real perspective. I’ve had a nice career yet don’t even give money to my law school because it holds itself out as a bastion of academics yet I think it’s trash and if it disappeared I couldn’t care less.

I am afraid the whole college experience has largely been taken over by Marxists and now the aim is more to indoctrinate than educate. There is no free speech or debate on campuses. Even BYU has a number of professors who are off the rails and my alma-mater
has a DEI department that they call their diversity, equity, and belonging department. They just changed the word inclusion to belonging. Of course equity is quite different than equality. Those departments are damnable and create division in the name of bringing people together.

Higher education is broken and only a total excision of the cancer of Marxism in our higher institutions can save it.