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Original Issue

Ball in the Family

Texas Tech's basketball program will be in familiar hands whenever Bob Knight quits

MANY A COACH has had royal delusions, so we should have seen this coming: College hoops programs now pass from father to son like monarchies. Last Saturday, Texas Tech announced that it had signed Bob Knight's son Pat, 35, to a five-year contract to coach the Red Raiders when his father steps down. His start date? Unknown, since Knight père, who needs 25 wins to break Dean Smith's record for coaching victories (879), has given no indication that he plans to retire. The Knights aren't alone. Eddie Sutton will be followed at Oklahoma State by his son Sean, and Washington State will hire Tony Bennett when his father, Dick, retires.

The younger Knight has been a Red Raiders assistant since 2001. His anointment may help Texas Tech's recruiting--players can be sure they'll play in the same system even if the elder Knight, 64, calls it quits. But beyond his name and his fondness for Dad's defensive schemes, little on Pat Knight's résumé suggests he's ready to coach in the Big 12. His only head coaching experience came in the USBL and the IBA, where he went a combined 22-22, and he hasn't been offered any of the college jobs for which he interviewed (Wright State, Fresno State and New Mexico State). He does have one really good reference, however. "I've had a lot of assistants who have gone on to very successful careers," said his father, "and none, I think, was as ready or better prepared than Pat."




Pat (left) has assisted his father since 2001.