Knight Ties Dean Smith With 879th Win
Dec. 23, 2006
LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) -- Add this to the list of things you can say about Bob Knight: Nobody has ever won more Division I men's basketball games.
Knight matched Dean Smith's record of 879 victories when Texas Tech beat Bucknell 72-60 on Saturday.
Knight's first chance to own the top spot all by his sweater-wearing self comes Thursday night at home against UNLV.
"Any time a coach is given an award or honor the great thing about it is that it recognizes everyone involved -- the players, the assistant coaches," Knight said. "I know that Dean Smith felt exactly the same way because he epitomized what coaching is all about."
Already a Hall of Famer, Knight now has a share of the record some believe drove him back to coaching after being fired by Indiana after 29 years, three national titles and one too many run-ins with players, bosses and fans. Since resurfacing in 2001 at this West Texas school in the heart of football country, "The General" hasn't changed much.
He's still fiery, as evidenced by him jerking up a player's chin earlier this season. He still runs a motion offense and tight man-to-man defense. And he's still winning: a 115-64 record with three trips to the NCAA tournament in five full seasons at a school that went twice the previous 15 years.
About all that's changed is the color of his sweater (black, instead of Hoosiers red) and the importance of the milestones, none bigger than this one, no matter how much Knight has tried to downplay it.
In his 41st year of coaching, Knight has a career record of 879-353. Smith went 879-254 over 36 years, all at North Carolina. Knight and Smith also are the only men to have won national championships as players and coaches. They also share the record for coaching in the most NCAA tournaments (27).
Tennessee women's coach Pat Summitt is the overall leader in major-college victories with 913 going into Saturday.
Playing before 11,561 fans, the second-biggest crowd in the campus arena's history, and without third-leading scorer Charlie Burgess (groin), Tech led for all but a couple possessions in the opening minutes.
Bucknell (5-6) got within 42-39 early in the second half, but missed 13 straight shots starting with a 3-pointer that could have tied it. The Red Raiders capitalized with a 17-0 run and it wasn't close again.
Jay Jackson scored 10 straight points during the game-breaking spurt and scored 18 points for Tech (10-3). Martin Zeno also had 18, while Alan Voskuil scored a season-high 15 and Darryl Dora added 14.
John Griffin scored 16 points for Bucknell, which had won five of six. Donald Brown had 13 and Chris McNaughton added 12.
Although the blowout drove away most fans, those who stayed were standing when time ran out, with three of them holding up black posters with the numbers 879.
There was no postgame announcement of the feat, and it was hardly acknowledged by his five assistants. Only Chris Beard patted him lightly on the back as he walked by, although Tim Knight, one of the coach's sons, went to get the ball from Dora.
Some fans stuck around while Knight did a postgame television interview, but it wasn't heard in the arena and he treated it as just another win as he walked to the locker room.
Karen Knight, a former girl's high school basketball coach in Oklahoma, sat in her usual seat about 20 rows up from the Tech bench. She declined to comment about the impending win record but said she is "absolutely" proud of her husband.
"Always proud of him," she said.
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