The major reason for Indiana hiring Mike Woodson as its new head men's basketball coach is his connection to Bob Knight and the program's glory years.
Woodson played for Knight from 1976-80 before a lengthy NBA playing career. Despite the fact Woodson has only ever coached at the professional level, his alma mater is trusting him with reviving Hoosier basketball.
His old coach has faith Woodson can get the job done. Knight has officially weighed in on IU's decision to hire the 63-year-old former guard.
"We are all very pleased to have Mike Woodson as the person in charge of our program," Knight said. "He will do an excellent job. He will be an outstanding disciplinarian and teacher working with his team. I've never known a better person than Mike. He is just a great man."
Now that he has the job, Woodson will be busy. He has to hit the ground running when it comes to recruiting, primarily focusing on luring Indiana's players who entered the transfer portal back to Bloomington.
“They are the top priority right now,” Woodson said Sunday about those players. “I’ve got to get with them and meet with them.”
Woodson was given a six-year contract to run the IU program. His predecessor, Archie Miller, was let go this month after four seasons at the helm.