National respect

Coaches from around the country give their thoughts on Knight's accomplishments

John Calipari, Memphis head coach

"The greatest legacy he could leave, some people may think of the national titles, but really, it's his respect for the older coaches that's off the chart. He knows the guys that came before him and that made an impact in his life and who he looks up to. Larry Brown is exactly like that, and both of them are in the Hall of Fame, both have coached the Olympics."



Jud Heathcoate, ex-Michigan State head coach (1977-95)

"A great coach has broken the record of a great coach. Everyone recognizes that Dean Smith is one of the all-time icons in our profession, but so is Bobby Knight.

"I was at Michigan State 19 years, we played Indiana 38 times and I think Indiana won 20 and we won 18. I wish it was the other way around, but there was a great rivalry there. I have the utmost respect for Bobby because whenever we played them we knew they would be ready and ready to play hard."


Pete Newell, former head coach (1946-60)

"He is one of the most innovative, creative coaches we've ever had. He has made great contributions to the game, and he cares a lot for basketball.

"Nobody in the history of college basketball has spoken to more clinics than Bobby."



Don Haskins, former UTEP head coach (1961-99)

"I think he's the greatest basketball coach that has ever coached the game. ... I think the thing I love the most about Bob is he's won 880 and I promise he's never done anything wrong as far as breaking rules. He keeps making guys go to class. He's hard on players, yes, I think we all know by now that a lot of coaches can be. I wish I had a son good enough to play for him. I hope he wins 900."

Johnny Orr, former Michigan head coach (1968-80)

"I'm happy to see him break it. He deserves it. We played against each other a lot of times and had some great games. I wish him all the best.

"He's a great competitor and he runs a clean ship. When we would get into the games, it's real competitive, but after that we're always good friends. For about six years beginning in 1974, either his team was first and ours was second or the other way around in the Big Ten."



Digger Phelps, former Notre Dame head coach (1971-91)

"He was at West Point in '63 and I went to Rider College, which was across the river from West Point. I stayed at Rider for graduate school and that's when he and I met, and we've been like brothers ever since.

"He treasures the game and he always will have respect for the coaches that came before us. Guys like Clair Bee, Henry Iba and Pete Newell, he has always been there for the coaches that have paved the way."


Mike Krzyzewski, Duke head coach

"Outside of my parents, he's had the biggest impact on my life. I've been fortunate because we're in the same profession. I've developed a close friendship with him outside of basketball. He's been a mentor for me, and I've learned great lessons from him."


Gene Bartow, former coach at Memphis, Illinois, UCAL, UAB

"He is very deserving of this as one of the greatest college basketball coaches of all-time. Some of those wins came against my teams. I'll always remember those games - not with much fondness because he beat us, but I'm glad to see him get this record. I hope he keeps it up for five, 10, 15 more years, or however long he wants to keep doing this. I hope he continues and sets a record that will never be broken."


Jim Calhoun, Connecticut head coach

"Bob Knight serves as a tower of integrity. He is committed to academics and he is the perfect example of a teacher-coach in the development of young players into men. He is truly a giant, in not only our game of basketball, but in the world of sports."




Jim Boeheim, Syracuse State head coach

"He was the standard in our era in coaching excellence. He is a coach that looks to play basketball the right way and that hasn't changed in 40 years. ... I never met a player that didn't think he was a great coach and teacher. There is nobody I respect more than Coach Knight. Guys like John Wooden, Bob Knight and Dean Smith, those are the coaches that set the standards and it's fitting that Coach Knight and Coach Smith are at the top."

Fran Fraschilla, former coach at St. John's, New Mexico

"The thing that hits home to me because I was a coach for 23 years is that he's done this for 41 years without a hint of scandal. He could have 120 more wins if he sold his soul to the AAU coaches or other people of ill repute. He's lasted 41 years without a hint of those kind of things and that is an incredible accomplishment. We could be talking about 1,000 wins right now instead of 880. Speaking from experience, not all coaches are like that."