This morning, the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum unveiled two limited-edition bobbleheads of legendary college basketball coach Bob Knight. The first bobblehead features Knight wearing his signature red sweater, while the second bobblehead commemorates Knight’s iconic chair-throwing incident. The special edition bobbleheads are being produced by the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum in conjunction with Knight Legacy. Founded by Coach Knight’s son, Pat Knight, Knight Legacy’s mission is to honor, promote, and preserve the Coach Knight Legacy and the footprint that Hall of Fame Coach Bob Knight has made in the history of basketball.
Standing on a circular base bearing his name, the first Knight bobblehead is wearing a red sweater and dark pants. The top of the base features a facsimile of Coach Knight’s autograph. Standing on a replica hardwood floor base bearing his name, the second Coach Knight bobblehead is wearing a red and white striped short-sleeved shirt like the one worn during Indiana’s game vs. rival Purdue on February 23, 1985, when Knight threw a chair across the Assembly Hall court objecting to a call. The chair throwing incident which has come to be known as “The Chair Game” is still remembered and even celebrated today on its anniversary and when the Hoosiers face Purdue. Knight, who apologized for his actions the next day, joked about throwing the chair since the incident, saying that he saw an old lady standing on the opposite sideline and threw her the chair so she could sit down.
The standing bobblehead is individually numbered to 2,023 while the chair-throwing bobblehead is numbered to 19,850. The bobbleheads are currently available for pre-order exclusively through the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum’s Online Store. The standing Knight bobbleheads are $30 each, while the chair-throwing bobbleheads are $40 each, plus a flat-rate shipping charge of $8 per order. A set of two is available for $65 and both bobbleheads are expected to ship in December.
In his coaching career, Knight finished with an overall record of 902-371. The 902 NCAA Division I victories was a record at the time of his retirement, and currently ranks fifth all-time. He is best known for winning three national championships as the head coach of the Indiana Hoosiers in 1976, 1981 and 1987. In addition to coaching the Hoosiers from 1971 to 2000, he was also the head coach at Army from 1965 to 1971 and Texas Tech from 2001 to 2008.
Known as one of college basketball’s most successful and innovative coaches, having popularized the motion offense, Knight also won a National Invitation Tournament championship and 11 Big Ten Conference championships along with his three national titles. Knight received National Coach of the Year honors four times and Big Ten Coach of the Year honors eight times. In 1984, he coached the USA men’s Olympic team to a gold medal, becoming one of only three basketball coaches to win an NCAA title, NIT title and an Olympic gold medal. Knight was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1991 and was a member of the founding class of the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006. He was also inducted into the Army Sports Hall of Fame in 2008 and the Indiana Hoosiers Athletics Hall of Fame in 2009.
Born in Massillon, Ohio, on October 25th, 1940, the only child of Pat and Hazel Knight grew up in nearby Orrville. His life in athletics began as a tall first baseman for the Mizer Tykes. He switched to basketball in the sixth grade and became a local star. An excellent student, Knight once won the Orrville Library’s competition for what child could read the most books between June and September. Knight went on to Ohio State where he played for Hall of Fame coach Fred Taylor. He was a reserve forward on the 1960 NCAA championship team that featured future Hall of Famers John Havlicek and Jerry Lucas. The Buckeyes lost in each of the next two NCAA championship games, of which the sharpshooting Knight also played a part of off the bench. One year after graduating from Ohio State with a degree in history and government in 1962, Knight enlisted in the United States Army and served two years of active duty. Knight, who was a private first class, also served nearly four years in the Army reserves. While in the service, Knight was an assistant coach for the Army Black Knights basketball team. As a 24-year-old in 1965, he was named Army’s head coach and compiled a record of 102-50 in six seasons there before going to Indiana.
When asked about the bobbleheads, Coach Knight’s son and Founder of Knight Legacy, Pat Knight said, “We’re thrilled to be honoring my father’s legacy with these limited edition bobbleheads in collaboration with the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum. I think these bobbleheads are a great tribute to my dad’s legacy and the passion that he had for basketball and life.”
“We’re excited to team up with Knight Legacy to create these bobbleheads celebrating the legendary coach,” National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum co-founder and CEO Phil Sklar said. “One of the most successful coaches in the history of college basketball, and we think fans will love these new bobbleheads!”