Bobby Knight: Quotes From a Legendary and Controversial Coach

On3 imageby:Dan Morrison05/05/22


Bobby Knight is a controversial figure today. The fiery college basketball coach was one of the best coaches in Indiana basketball history, finding tons of success. That included winning three national championships and going to the Final Four five different times. During his time as a head coach, Bobby Knight helped to innovate the motion offense and even was a major mentor for Coach K, who he coached at Army.

At the same time, he was extremely controversial. Whether it was throwing chairs, screaming at the media, or choking a player in practice, Knight often struggled to control his temper. That choking incident is what ultimately ended his time at Indiana before he took on the Texas Tech job through 2008.

Through the controversy that followed Bobby Knight, he was still a successful coach with plenty of great quotes.

10 Best Quotes From Bobby Knight

  1. “The key is not the will to win… everybody has that. It is the will to prepare to win that is important.”
  2. “If I came in to recruit your son, I would tell you, your wife and your son that I will be the most demanding coach your son can play for.”
  3. “It has always been my thought that the most important single ingredient to success in athletics or life is discipline. I have many times felt that this word is the most ill-defined in all of our language. My definition is as follows: 1. Do what has to be done; 2. When it has to be done; 3. As well as it can be done; and 4. Do it that way all the time.”
  4. “Mental toughness is to physical as four is to one.”
  5. “Your biggest opponent isn’t the other guy. It’s human nature.”
  6. “And I would be the first to admit that probably, in a lot of press conferences over the time that I have been in coaching, indulging my own sense of humor at press conferences has not been greatly to my benefit.”
  7. “Everybody hears, but few listen.”
  8. “On my dying day, I will think about how great the fans at Indiana were. And as far as the hierarchy at Indiana University at that time, I have absolutely no respect whatsoever for those people. With that in mind, I have no interest in ever going back to that university…I hope they’re all dead.”
  9. “You don’t play against opponents; you play against the game of basketball.”
  10. “When my time on earth is gone, and my activities here are passed, I want them to bury me upside down, and my critics can kiss my ass!”

Inspirational Quotes From Knight

  • “Discipline is knowing what to do. Knowing when to do it. Doing it to the best of your abilities. Doing it that way every single time.”
  • “In order to achieve to achieve positive results, one must work for them, not hope for them”
  • “Do what needs to be done, when it needs to be done the best way it can be done, and do it that way every time.”
  • “The biggest difficulty in getting to the top of the ladder is getting through the crowd at the bottom.”

Leadership Quotes From Bobby Knight

  • “I don’t have to wait until the next morning to regret something I did that was kinda dumb.”
  • “Son, my name isn’t Knight to you, it’s Coach Knight or it’s Mr. Knight. I don’t call people by their last name and neither should you.”
  • “I should have gone to his (Larry Bird) home and talked to him. I’m sure I could have brought him back to IU.”

Funny Quotes From Knight

  • “If the NBA was on channel five and a bunch of frogs making love were on channel four, I’d watch the frogs, even if they were coming in fuzzy.”
  • “You remember when you were a kid growing up, and believed in Santa Claus? There’s not much difference between Santa Claus and me today, you know. We’re two overweight lovable guys that kids really enjoy.”
  • “I don’t think I have ever been out of control.”
  • “I tell you what really fries my ass. When somebody gets on me for the way I look. Fat. Overweight. Well, I may be overweight. But I’m sure not fat.”

Team Attitude Quotes From Bobby Knight

  • “Everybody wants to be on a championship team, but nobody wants to come to practice.”
  • “Don’t fight the rabbits. If you fight the rabbits, the elephants are going to kill you.”
  • “It is better to anticipate than to react.”

Success Quotes From Knight

  • “All of us learn to write in the second grade. Most of us go on to greater things.”
  • “People want national championship banners. People want to talk about Indiana being competitive. How do we get there? We don’t get there with milk and cookies.”
  • “If my primary purpose here at Indiana is to go out and win ballgames, I can probably do that as well as anybody can. I would just cheat, get some money from a lot of people around Indianapolis who want to run the operation that way, and just go out and get the best basketball players I can. Then we’d beat everybody.”
  • “We just got our ass beat by a much better team. It happens once in a while. Does every team win every game?”