BLOOMINGTON — Bob Knight is returning to the city of his greatest triumphs and transgressions.
According to a Bloomington Times-Herald report, Knight has purchased a $600,000 home in an East Bloomington neighborhood, about three miles from Assembly Hall, where he coached Indiana to three national titles during his Hall of Fame coaching career.
Knight, who turns 79 in October, made his first public appearance on IU’s campus since he was fired in 2000 last April, when he attended an IU baseball game. He’s spoken at various Indiana high schools, including Bloomington South in 2018 and Center Grove in Greenwood last April. His appearance at Center Grove raised more concerns about Knight’s health issues as he forgot his wife had been already introduced, thought former IU player Landon Turner had passed away and repeated a story about a game twice.
As late as 2017, Knight told Dan Patrick on his nationally-syndicated radio show he had no intentions of returning to IU’s campus. Knight left IU unceremoniously in 2000 after being fired by then school president Myles Brand for violating a zero tolerance policy by grabbing an IU student. The previous April, a videotape surfaced of Knight choking one of his players, Neil Reed, during a 1997 IU practice, which led to Brand’s zero tolerance policy.
Hall of Fame ESPN college basketball analyst Dick Vitale visited briefly with Knight last month and said he was in good spirits.
“I was only there for about 10 minutes,” Vitale said. “I had a speaking engagement to do at Texas Tech, and then he came to the event as well. He seemed spirited. We did very small talk. I saw his wife and him, and it was great to see him.”
Knight’s 902 career wins rank third all time in Division I history behind Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski and Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim. He finished his college coaching career at Texas Tech from 2001-08 and worked as a color commentator and studio analyst at ESPN from 2008-15. He’s lived in Texas and Montana since leaving Bloomington in 2000, according to various reports.
“I’m sure there are a lot of fans in Indiana that are happy that he’s coming back,” Vitale said. “The next thing to see is for him to step foot in Assembly Hall again. The place would erupt.”