Bob Knight joins ESPN for Championship Week and NCAA Tournament
Gather up your munitions and prepare for a long, informative briefing because The General is coming to Bristol.
Recently resigned Texas Tech head coach Bob Knight will join ESPN as a college basketball studio analyst during the network's coverage of Championship Week Presented by Dick's Sporting Goods and through the NCAA Tournament.
"I think ESPN has been real good for college basketball and I look forward to working with some of their people who I have known a long time," Knight said.
The winningest coach in Division I men's college basketball history, Knight will begin Wednesday, March 12 from ESPN's Bristol studios and conclude Monday, April 7 from the ESPN set in San Antonio, Texas, site of the NCAA Final Four. As part of the agreement, Knight will also appear on select ESPN shows and platforms, including SportsCenter, ESPN Radio and ESPNEWS.
Bobby Knight's first collegiate coaching win came when Lyndon B. Johnson was president. His 900th came over 30 years later. Here's a look at his milestones:
|100||Feb. 27, 1971||Army 64,|
|200||Dec. 19, 1975||Indiana 93,|
|300||Feb. 7, 1980||Indiana 83,|
|400||Dec. 8, 1984||Indiana 81,|
|500||Jan. 14, 1989||Indiana 92,|
|600||Jan. 6, 1993||Indiana 75,|
|700||March 5, 1997||Indiana 70,|
|800||Feb. 5, 2004||Texas Tech 75,|
|880*||Jan. 1, 2007||Texas Tech 70,|
New Mexico 68
|900||Jan. 16, 2008||Texas Tech 68,|
Texas A&M 53
|* -- Became winningest men's coach in NCAA Division I history|
"The information, the entertainment, the sophistication, the knowledge he brings about basketball and issues surrounding basketball -- add that to how compelling an individual he is, and it made perfect sense for us to put him on our platforms," said Norby Williamson, ESPN's executive vice president for production.
Williamson said Knight's relationships with ESPN commentators such as Dick Vitale and Digger Phelps helped make him comfortable with the idea of joining the network. "This isn't just a few token appearances; Knight will work a packed schedule for ESPN. He's the type of person who wouldn't do it any other way," Williamson said.
Knight will serve as an analyst on ESPN's day-long pregame, halftime and between-game segments Wednesday, March 12 through Sunday, March 16, as well as on ESPN's Selection Sunday specials: College GameDay Driven by State Farm at 11 a.m. ET and the two ESPNU Bracketology Presented by Staples selection specials at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.
He will also appear throughout ESPN's studio coverage of the NCAA Tournament, including analysis from Bristol for the first and second rounds on March 20-21 and the regional finals on March 27-28. He will appear via satellite at the conclusion of games on March 23 and 30. During the Final Four, Knight will offer analysis on ESPN's on-site coverage from San Antonio April 5-7. He will be working alongside Rece Davis, John Saunders, Karl Ravech, Vitale, Phelps, Jay Bilas, Hubert Davis and others.
Knight resigned from Texas Tech on Feb. 4, 2008. He coached for 47 years, compiling a 902-371 record as a head coach with Army (1965-71), Indiana (1971-2000) and Texas Tech (2001-08).
In his career, he won three NCAA championships (1976, 1981 and 1987), an NIT championship (1979), led the U.S. national team to an Olympic gold medal in 1984 and a Pan-American Games Gold medal in 1979. He is the only coach to win all four championships.
During his career at Indiana, Knight led the Hoosiers to 11 Big Ten championships and his 1976 squad remains the last Division I men's team to go undefeated and win the NCAA title.
He was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1991.
But even for the most accomplished and charismatic coaches and athletes, letting their personalities shine through as a TV commentator can be a challenge at first.
"It always comes back to ... how comfortable they are being themselves. One of the things Bob Knight has demonstrated is he'll be himself," Williamson said. "He's going to have an unbelievable, unmatched work ethic, do his homework and be surrounded by people he's comfortable with.
"We're in a very good position for him to succeed."
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report
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