Knight fuels speculation over UGA coaching job

ATLANTA — Bob Knight would consider returning to the sideline if the right coaching opportunity presented itself.

“It has to be a situation that I think is right for me and one where I would be right for the university,” Knight told ESPN Radio. “It has to be one, from my standpoint, where I think we would have the wherewithal to recruit and be able to compete with anybody.”

His name has been linked to the opening at Georgia, but Knight, who resigned as Texas Tech head coach almost one year ago, said he has had no contact with Georgia.

And Georgia hasn’t said it’s interested in Knight.

“You know, never say never,” Knight said during Monday night’s broadcast on ESPN2 of the Tennessee-Oklahoma women’s game. “I’ve always said if I had a chance and it was a good one and I was good for the situation, I’d be interested.”

Athletics director Damon Evans is heading the Georgia search after firing Dennis Felton on Thursday. Evans ultimately will make a recommendation to University of Georgia president Michael Adams.

Adams’ friendship with NCAA president Myles Brand could become a factor. As the president at Indiana, Brand fired Knight. Adams is chair of the NCAA executive committee.

Dick Vitale said Georgia should pounce if it gets the opportunity to hire his fellow ESPN college basketball analyst.

“I don’t even know if he would take a job, but I know Georgia has a lot of positives going for it in the scenario there and I think he’d be interested, I really do, but I can’t speak for Bob Knight,” Vitale said in a telephone interview.

“To me it’s no contest, if Bobby Knight is interested in Georgia basketball it’s no contest. He’s so good I’d come with him as an assistant. I’d be his chauffeur.”

Evans promoted assistant coach Pete Herrmann to the top job for the remainder of the season. Evans, returning from the Super Bowl on Monday, did not return a phone message. He said Thursday he would use a search firm to help assemble the pool of candidates.

The 68-year-old Knight is the winningest men’s major college head coach with 902 victories in 42 seasons at Army, Indiana and Texas Tech. He resigned as Texas Tech’s coach on Feb. 4, 2008, turning the team over to his son, Pat.

In Knight’s six full years at Texas Tech, he led the Red Raiders to five 20-win seasons and four NCAA tournament berths. The Red Raiders advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 in 2005 but won only one other NCAA tournament game under Knight.

Knight began working as a studio analyst with ESPN last season and has expanded his duties to calling games this season.

“I miss teaching. The thing I like most about coaching is what I’ve put together and how does it go against what you’ve put together,” Knight said. “That’s what I look at every game that I coach.”