April 3, 2006
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame has announced that former Friar Dave Gavitt has been selected for induction into the Hall of Fame as a member of the Class of 2006. Enshrinement will take place September 7-9 in Springfield, Massachusetts. Gavitt was selected along with five other basketball luminaries, including Geno Auriemma, Charles Barkley, Joe Dumars, Dominique Wilkins and Italian National Team Coach Sandro Gamba. Gavitt is the third member of the Providence basketball family to earn the honor and joins John Thompson and Lenny Wilkens.
Gavitt - former BIG EAST Conference Commissioner and one of the founding fathers of the league spent 17 years at Providence College. First from 1962-66 as an assistant men's basketball coach under the direction of Joe Mullaney, then from 1969-79 as Head Coach. Gavitt was also PC's Athletic Director from 1971-82, when he resigned to be the director of the BIG EAST.
As head coach of the Providence College men's basketball program from 1969-79, Gavitt led the Friars to the school's first Final Four berth in 1973, in addition to eight 20-win seasons, five NCAA Tournaments, three NIT Tournaments and five New England Coach of the Year trophies. He registered a record of 209-84 (.713) during his 10 seasons with the Friars, including 23 wins over Top-20 teams. His success as coach at Providence led to his selection as Head Coach of the 1980 United States Olympic Team. Overall, Gavitt compiled an overall collegiate coaching mark of 227-117.
Gavitt also was the catalyst behind the formation of the BIG EAST Conference, founded in 1979. He served as commissioner of the league from 1979 until 1990, during which time he helped fuel the Conference's explosive rise to prominence.
In addition, Gavitt has countless other achievements and contributions to the sport of basketball. He was a member of the NCAA Division I Basketball Committee, including its Chair from 1982-84. During his tenure as Chair, he oversaw the expansion of the tournament to 64 teams, the use of domed stadiums for the Final Four, and the expansion of the CBS television coverage with the first contract. Gavitt also served on the Olympic governing body (now USA Basketball), a stint that included its presidency from 1988-92. In 1992, USA Basketball - under the direction of Gavitt - sent its first Dream Team comprised of NBA standouts, including Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson and Larry Bird to the Summer Olympics in Barcelona. In addition, Gavitt was the CEO of the Boston Celtics from 1990-94, President of the NCAA Foundation from 1995-97 and Chairman of the Board of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame until 2003. In 2000, Gavitt was enshrined into the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) Hall of Fame, and voted into the International Scholar-Athlete Hall of Fame. Finally, he was inducted into the Providence Athletic Hall of Fame in 1984.
Born October 26, 1937 in Westerly, Rhode Island, Gavitt currently resides in Rumford, R.I. He graduated from Dartmouth in 1959. He is the 1995 recipient of the Conference Commissioners Association Merit Award and served as the Chairman of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Board of Directors until 2003.
Lenny Wilkens, who graduated from Providence College in 1960, was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1989 and 1998. The first PC player to earn the honors, Wilkens was ushered in as a player on May 9, 1989 and as a coach on October 2, 1998 making him one of only two individuals (John Wooden being the other) enshrined in the Hall of Fame in both categories. Thompson, who graduated from Providence College in 1964, was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1999.
Gavitt At Providence Wins Losses Postseason 1969-70 14 11 1970-71 20 8 NIT - Quarterfinal 1971-72 21 6 NCAA - First Round 1972-73 27 4 NCAA - Final Four 1973-74 28 4 NCAA - Sweet Sixteen 1974-75 20 11 NIT - Secobd Overall 1975-76 21 11 NIT - Fourth Overall 1976-77 24 5 NCAA - First Round 1977-78 24 8 NCAA - First Round 1978-79 10 16 TOTAL 209 84 record at PC (.713 winning percentage)
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