Bill Belichick reflects on Bob Knight’s death: ‘Tough loss for coaching’


Belichick said he learned a lot from Knight, who was friends with his father.

Bob Knight. AP Photo/Bob Jordan, File
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Patriots coach Bill Belichick said he had a good relationship with Bob Knight, the Hall-of-Fame college basketball coach who died on Wednesday at age 83.

He called the loss “very sad” and that the last few years have been tough for him.

“I met Coach Knight when I was probably under 10 [years old],” Belichick said. “I’ve definitely known him my whole adult life, he and my dad good friends, and Coach [Bill] Parcells.

“So yeah, saw a lot of Coach Knight,” Belichick continued. “Learned a lot from him. Enjoyed the time with him. He was a wonderful man and obviously a great coach, up there in like the, what is it? The big five in basketball.”

Belichick added that Knight’s passing was a “tough loss for coaching.”

Knight won three NCAA men’s basketball championships and made five Final Four appearances. He won an Olympic gold medal coaching the United States national team in 1984.

He once held the record for all-time wins in men’s college basketball until his protege Mike Krzyzewski surpassed him in 2011. Knight is now sixth on the list after Krzyzewski, Jim Boeheim, Bob Huggins, Jim Calhoun, and Roy Williams.

Indiana fired Knight in 2000 after he grabbed the arm of a student, which violated the university’s “zero-tolerance” policy placed upon the coach at the time.

Six months before Knight’s firing, Neil Reed, who played for Knight, also accused the coach of choking him at a practice in 1997. According to the Indianapolis Star, Knight once brought a whip to a pregame news conference and mimicked whipping a black player with a towel after Indiana lost the game.

Knight leaves behind a complex legacy featuring many wins and accomplishments. His behavior ultimately cost him his job at Indiana. He said during a 2017 episode of “The Dan Patrick Show” that he hoped the school administrators who were around at the time of his firing were all dead. He returned to Assembly Hall for an Indiana game for the first time since his firing in February 2020.

It appears Belichick, who met Knight when he was a child, chooses to remember the good side of Knight’s legacy.