Bob Knight made his return to Indiana's Assembly Hall on Saturday to a thunderous ovation, ending his 20-year split with the university that he guided to three NCAA basketball championships.

He took part in festivities honoring the 1980 Big Ten championship team during halftime of the Hoosiers' 74-62 loss to Purdue.

Knight wore a red Indiana warmup jacket embroidered with "Coach Knight" on the sleeve and joined several former players on the court, including Isiah Thomas, Mike Woodson, Quinn Buckner and Butch Carter. Also in the building was retired Purdue coach Gene Keady, who went head-to-head with Knight 41 times in their careers.

The 79-year-old Knight received a standing ovation when he entered the arena, and fans chanted "Bobby!" as he stood on the court. It marked his first appearance in the building since he was fired in September 2000, ending his 29-year career with the Hoosiers.

Myles Brand, then the president of Indiana, fired Knight for what he called a pattern of "uncivil, defiant and unacceptable" behavior. It followed an incident when a student alleged Knight physically and verbally assaulted him and violated a zero-tolerance policy that the university had placed on Knight -- known for tumultuous outbursts throughout his career -- less than four months earlier.

At the time, Knight said he'd never return to campus, and he had declined previous invitations. But he attended a baseball game on campus last April after moving back to Bloomington, Ind., and the door seemingly opened for the events that transpired on Saturday.

With the Hoosiers, Knight won national championships in 1976, 1981 and 1987, and also took his teams to the Final Four in 1973 and 1992.

He holds a career record of 902-371 at Army (1965-71), Indiana (1971-2000) and Texas Tech (2001-08). He also led the United States men's basketball team to a gold medal in the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.

--Field Level Media

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