Texas Tech beats Texas A&M for Knight’s 900th win
In some ways, Bob Knight was to Texas Tech what Hall of Fame pitcher, Nolan Ryan, is to the Texas Rangers. Both men spent the bulk of their respective careers with other organizations but ended up in Texas where they would accomplish most of their career milestones.
Also, each brought notoriety and legitimacy to the final organization they represented. When Ryan signed with the Rangers in 1989, he was the first high-profile free agent to ink a deal with the franchise that had been a national afterthought up until then.
When Knight came to Tech, the basketball program was just a few years removed from significant NCAA sanctions and it had become a punchline around the Big 12 and even inside of Loop 289. Of course, his arrival brought instant credibility and interest and it kept Tech in the national spotlight until his retirement in 2008.
Just four games prior to his in-season resignation, he would reach the final milestone of his career, his 900th win. To the delight of many Red Raider fans, that would come at the hands of Texas A&M in Lubbock.
Unlike win No. 880, this game was never in doubt. Thanks to a dominant defensive showing in the first half, Tech would hold a 32-17 halftime lead on the way to a 68-53 triumph. That was a big surprise, though, given that the Aggies entered the day ranked No. 9 in the polls.
"“I’m happy that I’ve been able to coach this long ’cause I’ve basically enjoyed coaching probably 70-30, anyhow,” Knight said to the crowd after the win. “That’s a mark of longevity as much as anything so I’m just glad I’ve lived this long.”"
About two weeks later, following a 67-60 win over Oklahoma State in Lubbock, Knight would hand the reins over to his son, Pat, leaving the coaching profession in the middle of the season to give Pat time to build some momentum for the next season. It was the end of what would be one of the most legendary coaching careers in the world of sports and the end of Texas Tech basketball’s relevance for essentially a decade.