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Some things Bob Knight and Gene Keady didn’t talk about at Purdue Ag Alumni Fish Fry!Some things Bob Knight and Gene Keady didn’t talk about at Purdue Ag Alumni Fish Fry!

If you’re a rapid Hoosier basketball fan there are some things you never forget!

Tom Bechman 1

February 18, 2016

2 Min Read

If you could talk to a relative who loved IU-Purdue basketball but has passed on, odds are you could get them ‘to turn over in their grave,’ as they say. Bob knight and Gene Keady appeared together on the same stage at the Purdue Ag Alumni Fish Fry this year. Not only that, they were civil to each other- in fact they were complementary to each other. A love fest nearly broke out!

And perhaps most shocking of all, check out the picture. Before the event began, Bob Knight and Gene Keady walked down the aisle together. As they left the starting point, the Boilermaker Special was in the background. Whoever thought they would live to see such a day!


Here are five things I wanted to hear more about during their time on stage.

The game Bobby Knight threw the chair!

It never came up, but I’ll never forget it. We were watching the game with friends - nearly all IU fans but us. I couldn’t believe what I saw! For years Purdue fans, who didn’t know Knight off the court like Gene Keady knew him off the court, felt the only bad part of that story was that Knight didn’t hit the player at the foul line, Steve Reid, when he threw the chair!

The TV show where Bob Knight brought a donkey on the show and insinuated it was like a Purdue player!

It was early in the rivalry, and Knight did a weekly show with Chuck Marlowe, a straight man who served as Knight’s sounding board, to be kind. IU fans loved the segment - as a Purdue fan, I thought what the heck is he doing?

Keady never won a national championship.

Actually, Keady himself did note that one of his disappointments was never getting a team to the Final Four. He noted that Knight, as his friend, once told him, did you ever think maybe it was the players that didn’t get to the Final Four? Purdue teams during the Keady era did get to the Elite Eight twice. 

Gene Keady’s hair style

No, actually they did talk about it - at least Knight did. He got a big reaction when he told the audience that he was so glad Keady’s current wife finally got rid of that ‘comb-over!’

The best part of their coaching careers

They did refer to it, but didn’t dwell on it. It’s the one tribute that to me, as a Hoosier and a Boilermaker, means more than all the Big 10 titles, National Championships and Coach of the Year titles they won. Their players went to class, and their players graduated. There was no disagreement between the two on that score, and they remain two of the most successful coaches ever at getting senior players to graduate.

About the Author(s)

Tom Bechman 1

Editor, Indiana Prairie Farm

Tom Bechman is an important cog in the Farm Progress machinery. In addition to serving as editor of Indiana Prairie Farmer, Tom is nationally known for his coverage of Midwest agronomy, conservation, no-till farming, farm management, farm safety, high-tech farming and personal property tax relief. His byline appears monthly in many of the 18 state and regional farm magazines published by Farm Progress.

"I consider it my responsibility and opportunity as a farm magazine editor to supply useful information that will help today's farm families survive and thrive," the veteran editor says.

Tom graduated from Whiteland (Ind.) High School, earned his B.S. in animal science and agricultural education from Purdue University in 1975 and an M.S. in dairy nutrition two years later. He first joined the magazine as a field editor in 1981 after four years as a vocational agriculture teacher.

Tom enjoys interacting with farm families, university specialists and industry leaders, gathering and sifting through loads of information available in agriculture today. "Whenever I find a new idea or a new thought that could either improve someone's life or their income, I consider it a personal challenge to discover how to present it in the most useful form, " he says.

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