The Late Dave Gavitt to be Honored with the Carlesimo Award

The Late Dave Gavitt to be Honored with the Carlesimo Award

One of the architects of modern college basketball, Dave Gavitt left a formidable imprint on the game he loved.

He galvanized efforts to create the Big East Conference in 1979 and served as its first commissioner until 1990. The conference quickly became a national powerhouse, and by 1985, it had its first NCAA Division I basketball champion.

As president of USA Basketball, he helped to bring NBA stars to the Olympic squad, a move that helped lead to a gold medal in 1992. While chairperson of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee, Gavitt’s work resulted in the expansion of the NCAA tournament to 64 teams and the use of domed stadiums for the Final Four.

He served as senior executive vice president of the Boston Celtics from 1990 to 1994, and as chairman of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame from 1995 to 2003. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame three years later.

Gavitt’s career as a coach was no less impressive. During his tenure at Providence College from 1969–1979, he led the Rhode Island school to 209 wins, including eight consecutive 20–win seasons.

Gavitt passed away in 2011 at the age of 73.