When Coach Knight came to Lubbock in March 2001, he brought with him a reputation for greatest on the basketball court and the classroom. He also carried a tradition that was born out of a love for reading.
Shortly after arriving on campus, he established the Coach Knight Library Fund with a $25,000 gift. Coach Knight also makes it a practice to solicit donations specifically for the library during public appearances. He also donates all proceeds from speaking engagements to the fund.
According to Donald H. Dyal, Dean of Libraries, Coach Knight promised to raise $1 million on behalf of the library. He understands the role of the library and the impact it has on the students and faculty that utilize its services.
"The mission of libraries has changed from a large warehouse filled with journals," Dyal said.
"Coach Knight is known for carrying the banners for libraries because he understands that libraries are indispensable to the reputation of universities," Dyal said.
The library serves the entire university community by providing supporting text for the classrooms as well as serving as a physical and electronic resource for academic purposes and research. In 2004, more than one million people accessed the library's holdings and used library services.
Dyal said that funds are needed for the preservation of volumes and materials, to build endowments for funded library positions including curator and visiting scholars as well as to sponsor historical and cultural outreach programs such as library exhibits.
"He gets it, he really does." said Dyal. "He is the kind of man who can talk to you about a variety of subjects. He is very well-read." Coach Knight has donated more than 7,000 books to the Texas Tech Library from his personal collection. The subject matters range from political science and history to art.
In response to Coach Knight's contributions, the library houses the Digital Media Studio which allows students to work with industry-standard film, video and media editing equipment and software, Dyal said.
To make a contribution to the Coach Knight Library Fund, send your check to:
Texas Tech Library Foundation
Texas Tech University
P.O. Box 40002
Lubbock, TX 79409-2033