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Bob Knight ‘meant the world to me,’ IU coach Mike Woodson says

Mike Woodson remembers Coach Knight

BLOOMINGTON, Ind (WISH) — Mike Woodson was recruited to play for the late Indiana University head basketball coach Bob Knight in 1976. He remembers when Coach Knight visited his Indianapolis home and made him an offer.

“When you lose a legend like Bob Knight, who meant the world to me in terms of my growth…he basically shaped my whole career,” Woodson said Thursday.

Woodson’s career included an 11-year playing career and a 25-year coaching career.

Woodson recalled playing for Knight on Team USA in a gold medal game against Puerto Rico in the 1979 Pan American Games. Team USA had a large lead but nearly blew the game.

“I was the captain of that team, and I remember him calling the timeout. He grabbed me by my jersey and he pulled me to his face, and to the viewer’s eyes you probably thought he was up to no good. He pulled me and he said, ‘Woody don’t let us lose the gold medal,’ and we went out on a 9-0 run to bring the gold medal home.”

Players on the 2023 Hoosiers roster can see how Knight’s coaching style rubbed off on Woodson.

“Whenever he (Knight) came to practice, we knew it was business. It’s special to see him sit over there and see Coach Woodson’s face light up whenever he walked in,” said senior guard Trey Galloway.

Woodson says Coach Knight will be remembered for his preparedness and attention to detail, and for demanding the most from his players, both on and off the court.

“As far as I am concerned, he is the greatest coach that ever graced the college basketball floor.”

IU will have a moment of silence for Knight before Friday’s exhibition game against Marian University which tips off at 6:30 p.m. Players will wear a patch this season bearing Knight’s initials, RMK, to honor the late coach.