The news came from out of Lubbock, Texas on Monday. Bob Knight decided to step down as head coach of Texas Tech. Was I totally shocked by this development? Not really.
You have to understand that when the urge to coach disappears, and the desire to go to practice and teach is gone, then it is time for a change. When a coach no longer wants to go into that battle, and there is a frustration there, it is time to move on.
Bob Knight has a very diversified life. He loves to fish and hunt. There are many interests. With things in place for a transition, with his son Patrick taking over as head coach of the Red Raiders, this is a good time for a change.
The continuity and stability in this transition helps explain this decision. This will give Patrick the opportunity to gain experience through the remainder of this season, in preparation for running the show in 2008-09.
People have to understand that Bob Knight had a Hall of Fame career with 902 wins, three national championships, and numerous players that rave about the discipline he instilled in his teams. He has achieved so much on and off the court.
He has reached a point where he is not motivated and is simply tired. It is time for Pat Knight to run the program and you know Bob will support his son.
Bob Knight had the utmost respect for Texas Tech athletic director Gerald Myers. Knight truly appreciated Myers for giving him the opportunity to return to the collegiate sidelines after the departure from Indiana.
To me, Knight will always be synonymous with Indiana basketball. I have said it time and time again that the school should rename the facility the Robert Montgomery Knight Assembly Hall.
It is very difficult to win at Texas Tech. That said, Knight had great success in Lubbock; in his first six years at Tech, he led the Red Raiders to five 20-win seasons. Battling against Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma, Texas A&M and others in the Big 12 is a true challenge. Basketball is simply thought of at a higher level at most of those schools than in Lubbock.
There was a burning desire to compete, to try to cut the nets down. Knight was a guy who believed that every time he stepped on the floor, his teams could beat the opponent's five players.
My friends, you have to have talent, and certainly you won't get the same level at Texas Tech that you got at Indiana. He did an incredible job everywhere he coached.
Let's also remember that he never had one single problem with a recruiting violation. He did things the right way, making sure everyone knew that he had student-athletes. Academics were always part of the formula for success. He was about winning with people who understood that it was student first.
Dick Vitale coached the Pistons and the University of Detroit before broadcasting ESPN's first college basketball game in December 1979. Send him a question for possible use on ESPNEWS.