Indiana finally hired an "IU guy" as its head basketball coach, something many fans have demanded for years. Mike Woodson finally gives the Hoosiers a coach attached to their legacy and a guy who played under legendary head coach Bob Knight. As you could probably guess, the 80-year-old Knight was thrilled with the move.
Knight issued a statement on Monday saying he was "very pleased" with the hire:
While I've never thought Indiana had to go back to its past to find its future, that idea held appeal to many in the fan base. Every time the job comes open guys like Steve Alford, Randy Wittman, Keith Smart, Dane Fife and Michael Lewis are all suggested as possible hires. Now Woodson has the job, so those fans have been mollified with the pick.
Woodson was a second-team All-American at Indiana and, along with Isiah Thomas, helped lead the Hoosiers to the 1980 Big Ten championship. He's currently fifth on the school's all-time scoring list with 2,061 points during his time on campus. Now he gets the chance to coach where he once lit up the scoreboard.
We don't know how this will work. After all, Woodson is a 63-year-old who has never coached the college basketball at any level. That's why the assistants he puts around him will be incredibly important. Thad Matta's work behind the scenes will also play a crucial role in determining the future of the program.
We know one thing for sure: Bob Knight is on board with the move. For a lot of Indiana fans, that's enough to get them excited.