Texas Tech will offer job to Knight

Sources say coach will accept the job

Posted: Thursday, March 22, 2001

LUBBOCK, Texas -- Legendary coach Bob Knight will be offered the job as the men's head basketball coach at Texas Tech, university chancellor John T. Montford told the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal on Thursday.

The newspaper also has learned that Knight will accept the job. Three university sources told the Avalanche-Journal that Knight plans to accept the position.

Knight, who has been the only named candidate for the position since the firing of James Dickey almost two weeks ago, will be introduced as the Red Raider's coach at a news conference Friday in United Spirit Arena. The time of the news conference has not been determined.

When asked if Knight, the former coach at Indiana University for almost three decades, will accept the position, Montford said, "I can't speak for the coach."

Montford said he is notifying the Board of Regents of his decision this morning.

"I have to notify the board and that process is underway this morning," he said. "I should have it done by noon, and then everything continues. I expect the event will be consummated tomorrow."

Jim Sowell, chairman of the Tech's Board of Regents, said Thursday that he had not been formally informed of the decision. However, he said he was expecting a call.

"I've had a pretty good idea that this was going to happen," he said. "It's not any surprise."

Sowell said that he is in favor of hiring Knight.

"I don't see any reason not to support this hiring," he said. "The administration has done an incredible amount of background work. I know that Dr. Schmidly has called as many as 40 references, and I have talked to other members of the university who have spoken to their counterparts at Indiana and have gotten very favorable recommendations."

Montford said he and Tech President David Schmidly discussed Knight for more than four hours Wednesday night. The discussion went late into the night, he said. Those discussions came after Tech Athletic Director Gerald Myers recommended Knight for the job.

"Based on all of the information that I have reviewed and hours of discussions, I feel it is in the best interest of Texas Tech and that is what I want to advise my board," Montford said.

Sowell agreed with Montford's assessment of Knight.

"I do think he deserves a chance for a fresh start," he said. "A decision like this is certainly not without risks not only from the standpoint of what reflections it may have on the university but also because there are some risks in hiring a coach that is in the twilight of his career."

Sowell compared Tech's hiring of Knight to the University of South Carolina's hiring of Lou Holtz.

"My attitude is let's give this guy a chance," Sowell said.

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