Dave Gavitt

Dave Gavitt (1937-2011)

Teams coached: Dartmouth Indians, Providence Friars
Dartmouth record: 18-33 (.353)
Providence record: 209-84 (.713)
Overall record: 227-117 (.660)

Career Accomplishments:

  • NCAA National Championships:   0   
  • NCAA Tournament Appearances:   5   (1972, 1973, 1974, 1977, 1978)
  • NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen:   2   (1973, 1974)
  • NCAA Tournament Final Four:   1   (1973)
  • NIT Championships:   0   (Runner-up in 1975)
  • NIT Appearances:   3   (1971, 1975, 1976)


  • Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame (inducted 2006)
  • National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame (inducted 2006)

Coaching Career (head coach, unless noted):

1969-1979 Providence
1967-1969 Dartmouth
1966-1967 Providence (asst)
1962-1966 Dartmouth (asst)

Dave Gavitt Facts

  • David Roy Gavitt
  • Born October 26, 1937
  • Died September 16, 2011
  • Hometown: Rumford, Rhode Island
  • Alma Mater: Dartmouth College (BA, 1959)
  • Attended Dartmouth, coached by Doggie Julian and played on the team that won the 1960 Ivy League title
  • Coached at Worcester Academy (MA) for two years before returning to his alma mater in 1962 to spend four years as an assistant coach under Julian
  • Left for Providence, where he spent one year as an assistant under Joe Mullaney before becoming the Dartmouth head coach in 1967
  • Went back to Providence in 1969, spending the next ten seasons as the Friars’ head coach
    • Went to the postseason eight times (five NCAA, three NIT), including a trip to the 1973 NCAA Final Four
    • Also served as the athletic director at Providence from 1971 through 1982, several years after he stopped coaching the team
    • The floor at the Amica Mutual Pavilion in Providence is named Dave Gavitt Court in his honor
  • In 1979, Gavitt was among a number of college athletics admins to form the Big East Conference; Gavitt was named the first ever commissioner of the league, a position he held through 1990
    • The Big East was successful from the start, with powerhouse programs and high-level rivalries formed right away
    • In 1985, three Big East teams made up the Final Four, with Villanova defeating Georgetown in the final
    • The winner of the men’s Big East Tournament receives the Dave Gavitt Trophy, named in his honor for his contributions to the league
  • Was involved with United State Olympics basketball, serving as the President of the team’s governing body from 1988 to 1992, during which time he helped develop what would become the famous “Dream Team” at the 1992 Summer Olympics
  • Served as the SVP of the Boston Celtics from 1990-94, President of the NCAA Foundation from 1995-97 and Chairman of the Board of the Naismith HOF from 1997-2003
  • A member of the Providence Athletic Hall of Fame (1984), Gavitt later became the first Rhode Island-native to be inducted into the Naismith Hall of Fame in 2006
    • Also a member of the inaugural 2006 inductee class of the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame
  • Starting in 2015, the Big East and Big Ten Conferences have participated in an annual early season eight-game series called the Gavitt Tipoff Games
  • Along with his wife, Julie, had two sons

Dave Gavitt Coaching Tree