Controversial former coach Bob Knight returns to Indiana University basketball court after 20-year hiatus

Indiana University  former coach Bob Knight, center, waves to Hoosier fans as he returns to the university for the first time in 20 years.

(CNN)Legendary and controversial former college basketball coach Bob Knight returned Saturday to the home court of the school that fired him 20 years ago.

He was there to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Indiana University's 1980 Big Ten championship team, which Knight coached.
Fans, both young and old, gave Knight a standing ovation as he walked across the court in Indiana's Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall, where the Hoosiers were taking on Purdue University. The team ultimately lost 74-62.
Knight was welcomed back with open arms, despite his controversial exit in 2000 after what the school said at the time was "a pattern of unacceptable behavior."
    Knight had not returned to Assembly Hall since he was dismissed, missing major moments in the program's history, including the 40th anniversary of the 1976 undefeated Indiana team in 2016.
    After his return on Saturday, the school said in a statement that Knight was "synonymous with IU men's basketball."
    "IU fans had hoped to share their appreciation of Coach Knight for many years and this homecoming enabled us to do so," the school's statement read. "The warm welcome Coach Knight received shows the tremendous gratitude of IU fans who have never forgotten the many championship teams he led in Bloomington and all he and his players accomplished."
    Knight began coaching for Indiana in 1971, according to the school's website. Through his 29-year career he led the Hoosiers to three NCAA championships and 11 Big Ten championships, winning a total of 661 games with Indiana. He also coached the gold medal-winning mens basketball team during the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles.
    Indiana coach Bobby Knight, center, is walked off the court in jubilation by a tearful Quinn Buckner, left, and Scott May after the Hoosiers won the 1976 NCAA championships in Philadelphia.
    Behind his success, though, was what many deemed an aggressive coaching style. National television cameras captured the coach pulling players off the floor by their jerseys. There was chair-throwing, and a 1997 incident -- which was recorded and leaked to CNN -- showing Knight grabbing player Neil Reed by the neck during a practice.
      This all culminated in his firing in September 2000. An ESPN "30 for 30" documentary detailing the investigation that led to Knight's firing, "The Last Days of Knight," aired in 2018.
      By the time Knight resigned as the coach of Texas Tech in 2008, he was -- at the time -- the winningest coach in Division I men's college basketball history.