Mon, Dec 25, 2006 - Page 18 News List

Knight matches Dean Smith in wins

AFP , LUBBOCK, TEXAS

Texas Tech head basketball Bob Knight takes the floor for a game against Bucknell in Lubbock, Texas on Saturday. Knight is tied for the most wins by a college coach.

PHOTO: AP

Bob Knight matched former North Carolina coach Dean Smith for the most coaching victories in US college basketball history with his 879th triumph when his Texas Tech Red Raiders defeated Bucknell 72-60 here on Saturday.

The controversial 66-year-old coach, in his 41st season, improved to 879-353. Knight began his career at the US Military Academy and found fame at Indiana, guiding the Hoosiers to US titles in 1976, 1981 and 1987.

Knight, who also coached the 1984 US Olympic team to a gold medal at Los Angeles, will have his first chance to take sole possession of the mark here on Thursday when the Red Raiders, 10-3, host Nevada-Las Vegas.

"Any time the coach is given an award for anything, the great thing about the award is it recognizes everybody. That's certainly the case in our situation," Knight said.

Knight, whose 1976 Indiana squad is the last team to complete an unbeaten title run, thanked former players and assistant coaches from throughout his four decades guiding students.

"There are a lot more people than myself who can enjoy this," Knight said. "They know they have had at least as much to do with it as I have."

Smith, who spent his entire 36-year coaching career at North Carolina, set the record in 1997.

"He epitomized in his coaching what team play is all about," Knight said of Smith. "That's what I have tried to do also."

Knight won 662 of 901 games at Indiana but a large amount of the controversy in his career came in the same span, including an arrest for assaulting a Puerto Rican policeman at the 1979 Pan American Games.

Knight hurled a chair across the court during a game against arch-rival Purdue in 1985 and appeared to choke Neil Reed, one of his own players, in 1997.

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