Indiana basketball legend Bob Knight will be the speaker for Trine University’s 125th commencement on Saturday, May 8 in Hershey Hall.
Winning defines Knight’s personal and professional life. He coached the Indiana University Hoosiers for 29 years, leading them to three Division I National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) championships, claiming the title in 1975–76 after a perfect season. He has the most NCAA wins at 902 of a career-total 1,273 games. He holds the NCAA record in tournament appearances at 28 and in games won, claiming victories of 20 or more games in 29 seasons.
But Knight has emphasized more than athletic excellence. He has stressed academics and character in his players, who have notched a 98 percent graduation rate. His ability to teach young men the game of basketball is one of his most noted characteristics.
A public servant as well as an educator and athlete, he has served in various capacities for the National Association of Basketball Coaches, as a trustee of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and been named an honorary member of Beta Gamma Sigma, the national business honor society. He has also lent his name to the support of charitable and youth organizations.
The world recognizes his contributions. In August 2003 he became the first inductee into The Vince Lombardi Titletown Legends, which honors those who possess the dedication, teamwork, respect, love, family devotion and discipline the legendary coach instilled in his players.
A college athlete himself, he played for the Ohio State team that captured Big Ten titles in 1960-1962 and the NCAA championship in 1960. He coached at Army and finished his career with six and a half seasons at Texas Tech, retiring Jan. 1, 2007.
“Coach Knight’s respect for learning and his ability to instill character in his players make him an inspiring speaker for Trine University’s 125th commencement,” said Trine President Dr. Earl D. Brooks II. “He has not only lived an exemplary life, but has played a pivotal role in the development of many outstanding young people. His reflections on leading a life of impact and meaning will be well received by our degree candidates, their families, and our community, and we are pleased to host him on our campus.”
Knight will be presented with an honorary doctor of public service degree during the ceremony in recognition of his lifelong commitment to improving the lives of young people.
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