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The Journal Gazette

Saturday, May 20, 2017 3:30 am

One of Knight's favorites at IU? Anita Aldrich

CHRIS GOFF | The Journal Gazette

When Bob Knight appeared in Fort Wayne on Friday night at an event with Gene Keady, they shared many humorous anecdotes.

At times, though, Knight would turn serious, and one such occasion was when his mind wandered to a favorite colleague.

The retired coach made it clear in March he has no intention of ever returning to Indiana University's campus, where he celebrated three national championships. By his own admission, Knight hasn't gotten over the fact that IU fired him in 2000.

But that hasn't erased Knight's fond memories of so many people in Bloomington, including the better administrators.

"We had at Indiana the greatest person in charge of athletics of any person I've ever known," Knight said Friday at Embassy Theatre, "and it wasn't 'him,' it was 'her,' and this lady's name was Anita Aldrich."

Aldrich, who died in 2012, served as chair of the IU Athletics Committee from 1978 until retiring in 1985. She was the first woman to fill that capacity and was later inducted into the IU Athletic Hall of Fame.

"I have never, in all the time I've been in sports, run into a better person running an operation than Anita Aldrich was," Knight said. "For all you ladies out there, this was a woman that had an awful lot to do with athletics at a university, and I have a great feeling of appreciation for what she did."