Athletics News
Dave Gavitt - 1937-2011

"I cannot adequately express in words the tremendous loss that I feel and the sadness we are experiencing for his wife Julie, Dan and Corey. Dave Gavitt has been a friend, role model and mentor to me throughout my entire adult life. He was an accomplished leader with innate intelligence and unassuming people skills. Dave inspired so many of us in so many ways over the years. The BIG EAST Conference is simply one of his many contributions and legacies to the world of higher education, intercollegiate athletics and the game of basketball. He touched a great many lives and inspired greatness in so many who he worked with and coached over the years. All of us who loved him have a void in our hearts today that will never be filled."
- BIG EAST Commissioner John Marinatto


What Others are Saying...

"He had such an impact. "When the Basketball Hall of Fame was in danger, it was Dave who brought all the parties together to salvage that. He had a tremendous impact on international basketball, as he helped put together the Dream Team. But most importantly, he was an incredible friend." - Former BIG EAST Commissioner Michael Tranghese

"He could have been anything in the world he wanted to be and he made such a difference with anyone he touched. "His forming of the Big East, it changed our lives. He was a brilliant coach, a brilliant coach. To me, he is one of the greatest people to coach our game. This is a sad day.''  - Former Connecticut Coach Dee Rowe

"Dave will be missed incredibly by me as a mentor, confidant and friend. He was always such a big picture guy and he has done more for the sport of basketball than anyone in my lifetime. His impact on athletics in the Eastern part of the country is immeasurable and the Big East Conference, created through his vision and foresight, has taken all of us to a place that we never could have imagined.'' - Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun

"The entire Providence College community is deeply saddened by the loss of Dave Gavitt. Although most knew him as a Hall of Fame coach, athletic director and administrator and for his foresight and vision which led to the birth of The Big East Conference, he was so much more. Dave was a teacher and a motivator, someone who inspired people and brought out the very best in them. He cared enough to make a difference in so many individuals' lives, athletes and non-athletes alike. Providence College mourns his loss and we extend our sincere condolences to his wife Julie and to the entire Gavitt family." - Providence College President Fr. Brian J. Shanley

"Dave was a great man; a renaissance man who was at the forefront of all that was good in college basketball. One reason I wanted to coach at UConn was so that I could be in Dave Gavitt's league. 27 years later I'm still not in his league and never will be. Without Dave there is no BIG EAST and without the BIG EAST there would never have been a UConn as we have come to know it. This is a sad, sad day." - Connecticut women's basketball coach Geno Auriemma

"He's really one of the most significant people in college sports the last 30 or 40 years. As a coach, administrator and a friend not only to coaches but to administrators. I can't tell you how many people he's touched in the basketball community."  - Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany

""He was brilliant as a coach. Most people in basketball know him for the Big East but he always told me he wanted to be known as a coach first. I always called him `Coach Gavitt.' Of all the coaches I played for, he was by far my favorite and the best." - Former Providence star Ernie DiGregorio

News from Around the Country
Obituary - Providence Journal
Gavitt was a game-changer at every level - Providence Journal
Basketball visionary Gavitt dead at 73 - Providence Journal
Gavitt's impact huge - Boston Globe
Dave Gavitt, Big East founder, basketball Hall of Famer; at 73 - Boston Globe
Dave Gavitt, the Big East's Founder, Dies at 73 - New York Times
Gavitt's Influence and Friendship Are Recalled - New York Times