From when he took over in 1971 until 2000 Bobby Knight led the Indiana Hoosiers to three national championships. The legendary coach displayed a volatile demeanor on the sidelines, but his basketball program was the image of consistency.
Knight turned Indiana into a blue-blood program in college basketball, building on the legacy that Branch McCracken left with his two national championships in 1940 and 1953.
However, since Knight was dismissed from his post, the Hoosiers haven’t really got it right. Tom Crean temporarily restored with three Sweet Sixteen appearances in five years. Still, of the five head coaches this century, three will find their names on this list of the worst coaching hires in Indiana basketball history.
After Mike Davis resigned in 2006, Sampson was hired away from Oklahoma where he won the AP Coach of the Year in 1995 and the Big 12 tournament three times. Sampson, a talented coach on the rise, excelled immediately with a 21-11 record in his first season in Bloomington.
Indiana was bounced in the second round of the tournament, but it was clear things were headed in the right direction, until they weren’t.
In 2007-08 Sampson’s Hoosiers got off to a 22-4 start but was forced to resign after allegations of NCAA recruiting violations. Sampson was accused of texting recruits (which for some reason was against NCAA rules from 2007-2013.
It was clear that Sampson was the right guy for the job and was going to be able to handle the pressure of coaching at Indiana. We’ve seen what he’s done for Houston since returning to college basketball, but he finds his way onto this list because of how he set the program back by leaving.
Dan Dakich took over at the end of that season and kicked two players off the team. It took Tom Crean four years to build a winning team after he took over in 2008-09.