Coach led organization
of Big East Conference
Dave Gavitt, 73, one of basketball's most influential leaders in the last three decades, died Friday in a hospital near his hometown of Rumford, R.I., after a long illness, his family said.
Gavitt coached Providence College to the NCAA tournament five times, including the Final Four in 1973. He was the driving force behind the formation of the Big East Conference and was its first commissioner. He was selected to coach the U.S. Olympic team in 1980, but the United States boycotted the Moscow Games. Gavitt was president of USA Basketball and oversaw the introduction of NBA players...