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Pat Knight fired at Lamar with five games remaining in a dismal season

Jeff Eisenberg
The Dagger

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Pat Knight (Getty Images)

The most memorable moment of Pat Knight's tenure as Lamar's coach was a rant that began with him interrupting one of his players mid-sentence during a press conference and informing him, "You don't have a clue what it takes to win."

Alas, neither did Knight, which is why he was fired Sunday, late in his third season with the school.

Knight, the son of famed Indiana coach Bob Knight, told ESPN.com he had been informed of his dismissal at a 10 a.m. meeting on Sunday. Lamar officials confirmed Knight's firing later Sunday afternoon and announced that Lamar assistant coach Tic Price will serve as the school's interim head coach for the remainder of the season.

Knight's dismissal comes three-quarters of the way through a discouraging season that so far has produced a 3-22 overall record and a 2-11 mark in the Southland Conference. In year two under Knight, Lamar also struggled mightily, finishignt 3-28 overall and 1-17 in the Southland.

Those two dismal campaigns came on the heels of a promising start for Knight at Lamar. Motivated by Knight's brutally honest rant, a senior-laden Lamar team won its final three regular season games and blitzed through the Southland tournament to win 23 games and earn the program's first NCAA bid since 2000.

Four starters Knight's predecessor had recruited graduated from that team in 2012, and Knight was unable to replenish the program's talent level. Not only are the Cardinals a half game out of last place in the Southland this season, their 11 league losses have come by an average of 16.2 points.

Once the heir apparent to his father at Texas Tech, Knight failed to sustain the success his dad had in Lubbock, resigning late in his fourth season after failing to lead the Red Raiders out of the Big 12's bottom tier. Knight described being hired at Lamar in 2011 as a fresh start at a level that was more comfortable him.

"The best thing about getting fired is it makes you look at what you did wrong and what you should have done better," Knight told Yahoo Sports in Sept. 2012. "I put up with too much BS around the program [at Texas Tech] from players, administration, everything. There were too many voices. You've got to do what you think is right and do it no matter what."

Knight will have another chance to learn from his mistakes now, but it's almost certainly not going to be as a Division I head coach. He'll likely have to drop down another level or two if he wants to continue his head coaching career.

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