Dave Gavitt Named Recipient of ECAC Commissioner's Award

CAPE COD, Mass. - Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Commissioner Rudy Keeling announced on Friday that Dave Gavitt and Anne Glover will be honored with the ECAC Commissioner's Award at the 2010 ECAC Honors Banquet on September 28. The banquet will be held at The Resort and Conference Center in Hyannis, Massachusetts during the 2010 ECAC Fall Convention and Trade Show.

Established in 2008, the ECAC Commissioner's Award is presented for meritorious service to the ECAC or an ECAC member institution. The recipient must have demonstrated significant accomplishment in his or her chosen professional field or on the athletic field.

Gavitt has enjoyed a celebrated career in sports. Starting as a Dartmouth College athlete, he has been a highly successful coach, an administrator at the highest levels who was the founder of a major college athletic conference, President of an Olympic governing body and chief executive officer of a storied professional franchise.

Long associated with the sport of basketball in many capacities, he began his lifelong love of intercollegiate sports earning five letters in basketball and baseball for Dartmouth College. A point guard, he played on two Ivy League Championship/NCAA teams.

His love of the game led to coaching where he was recognized as one of college basketball's outstanding mentors during a distinguished career at Dartmouth and Providence College. He guided the Friars to eight consecutive 20-win seasons and five NCAA tournaments -- including the NCAA Final Four in 1973. His personal coaching honors included Eastern Coach of the Year, five consecutive New England Coach of the Year awards, the John W. Bunn award, the Naismith award and many other tributes.

His success on the bench led to his selection as Head Coach of the 1980 United States Olympic Basketball team which was unable to compete in Moscow due to the U.S. boycott. He then organized a five game Gold Medal series against leading NBA players, marking the first time professional players had been involved in the Olympic preparation.

Gavitt served as Director of Athletics at Providence College for 10 years, where he built the Friar program from seven to 24 sports and had the vision to spearhead the construction of both an on campus ice hockey arena and recreation center. He was later inducted into the National Association of Collegiate Director of Athletics Hall of Fame.

While at Providence, he was also the prime mover and founder of the prestigious BIG EAST Conference in 1979 -- and served as its Commissioner until 1990. The BIG EAST quickly established itself as one of the nation's premier conferences offering championships in 19 sports. In men's basketball, six different conference teams made appearances in eight NCAA Final Fours during the Conference's first decade. The BIG EAST was also the first conference to develop its own television network and production capability -- which helped to make it the most televised conference in the country. Later, the network and its signature Monday Night of the Week were sold to ESPN.

In addition to his achievements as a player, coach, athletic director and commissioner, Dave Gavitt has made countless other major contributions to the game of basketball. As a member of the NCAA Division One Basketball Committee and its Chair from 1982-84, his leadership led to the introduction of domed facilities for hosting the NCAA Final Four, expansion of the tournament bracket to 64 teams, balancing the field nationally by moving teams out of their region and greatly increasing television coverage. He also served on several special NCAA committees including the men's lacrosse committee.

Dave Gavitt also helped spearhead the increasing involvement of the United States in international basketball, serving on the board of directors of our Olympic governing body since 1976 including the Presidency from 1988-1992. Highlights of his tenure included changing the name from ABAUSA to USA Basketball, integrating the NBA into its membership to comply with new international eligibility rules, and establishing the most progressive licensing and sponsorship program by an Olympic sport. He was on the point of the creation of the dream team for the U.S. which captured the gold medal at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona and is generally recognized as the strongest team ever assembled in basketball. He also served as a member of the U.S. Olympic Committee and F.I.B.A. Central Board.
Gavitt resigned from the BIG EAST Conference in 1990 to become Chief Executive Officer of the Boston Celtics, a post he held until 1994 when he became Vice Chairman of the Board of the publicly-held franchise. During his tenure as CEO, the Celtics won two Atlantic Division titles, participated in three playoffs and compiled a record of 188-142.

From 1995 through 1997, he served as President of the NCAA Foundation. During this time the Foundation almost doubled its funds under his management, increasing the number of schools in its Life Skills program from 44 to over 200 and founded in concert with Disney Sports a National Student-Athlete Leadership Conference.

Gavitt also recently completed several years of service as Chairman of the Board of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. He helped spearhead a 104 million dollar project to develop an 18 acre tract of land and the Springfield riverfront, the centerpiece of which is the new 220,000 square foot Hall of Fame. He presently continues to service as Chairman Emeritus.

In 2006, Gavitt was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. He has also been inducted into the New England Basketball Hall of Fame, the Providence College Hall of Fame, and the Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame.

Gavitt has and presently continues to serve on many boards including the College Basketball Partnership, Rhode Island Convention Center Authority and Rhode Island Sports Council. He serves as a consultant to many entities in the sport of basketball and as an analyst for Westwood One on radio during their coverage of the NCAA tournament. He holds honorary degrees from Providence College, St. John¡¦s University and the Franklin Pierce College and has been awarded the University Medal by the University of Connecticut.

He and his wife Julie, the former Julie Garraghan, a graduate of Skidmore College reside in Rhode Island and Cape Cod.

Glover worked for 28 years in the ECAC officiating bureau before retiring in 2009. During her career, Glover worked for five of the seven ECAC commissioners, including Scotty Whitelaw, Clayton Chapman, Phil Buttafuoco, Steve Bamford, and Rudy Keeling. Although she was known primarily for her work with the hockey and baseball bureaus,
 
 

About the ECAC®
 
The ECAC is the nation's largest athletic and the only multi-divisional conference in the country with more than 300 Divisions I, II, and III colleges and universities.  The ECAC stretches from Maine to North Carolina and westerly to Illinois. Established in 1938, the ECAC, a non-profit service organization, sponsors nearly 100 championships in 37 men's and women's sports and assigns more than 4,400 officials in 12 sports.  The ECAC also administers nine affiliate sports organizations and six playing leagues, and through the public relations arm of the conference, more than 2,000 student-athletes are recognized annually.  Finally, the ECAC serves as the primary conference for select members in the sports of men's and women's ice hockey and men's lacrosse.