Dan Gavitt has been selected as the NCAA’s vice president of men’s basketball championships. In this new role, Gavitt will set the strategic direction for and oversee the operation and management of the Division I, II and III men’s basketball championships.
Gavitt was previously the Big East Conference associate commissioner for men’s basketball, where he served as the primary basketball administrator for the largest and most diverse Division I conference, and principal point of contact for conference member athletic directors, head basketball coaches and game officials.
“Throughout the search process, I was focused on finding an individual who could work closely with our championships committees and members to successfully host some of the biggest and most exciting events in sports,” said NCAA Executive Vice President of Championships and Alliances Mark Lewis. “Dan’s experience running the Big East Men’s Basketball Championship for the last seven years clearly demonstrates that he is a proven and capable executive, and I am confident that he will translate his many triumphs to his work here at the NCAA.”
“This job is truly the only one that could have convinced me to move on from the Big East Conference,” said Gavitt. “Simply put, this is the opportunity of a lifetime. I’m looking forward to meeting with the Division I Men’s Basketball Committee this week and getting started. I’d like to thank all of the coaches and administrators of the Big East for their support.”
In an effort to solidify the administration of NCAA basketball championships, the NCAA established two new vice presidential positions, one for men’s basketball and the other for women’s. Lewis expects to name a new vice president of women’s basketball championships in the coming weeks.
Gavitt will report directly to Lewis, who was hired April 10 to oversee the Association’s 89 championships and related business initiatives. In addition to organizing and managing the men’s basketball championships, Gavitt will be responsible for the preseason and postseason National Invitation Tournaments; the NCAA relationship with the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC); the relationship with iHoops, the official Youth Basketball Organization of the NCAA and the NBA; serving as the primary liaison to the Division I, II and III men’s basketball committees; and strategic oversight of the site-selection process for each championship.
“Without question, Dan understands the game of basketball and as a result, he has the ability to make sure the competition on the court is the first priority,” said Michigan State head men’s basketball coach Tom Izzo, a member of the search committee.
During his tenure at the Big East, Gavitt served as the conference liaison to the Division I Men’s Basketball Committee and assisted in the television and scheduling process of the 144-game conference schedule.
Prior to his service at the Big East, Gavitt was the director of athletics and recreation at Bryant University, which has one of the largest Division II athletics departments in the country. In addition to overseeing all 22 varsity sports – including the seven he launched during his tenure – he had responsibility for club sports, intramurals and fitness programs as well as construction of athletic fields and gym renovations to accommodate the growing athletics program. He was named the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) Division II Northeast Athletic Director of the Year in 2005.
“Dan’s time as both an associate conference commissioner, specifically focused on basketball, and as an athletic director uniquely qualifies him not only to execute large-scale events, but also to manage complex issues, budgets and relationships and understand the needs of NCAA membership,” said University of California, Los Angeles Athletic Director Dan Guerrero, also a member of the search committee.
Earlier in his career, Gavitt ran his own sports marketing and event management firm, Craigville Sports Associates, Inc., served as an assistant basketball coach at Providence College and ran the Rick Barnes basketball camp. He is the son of the late Dave Gavitt, the legendary founder of the Big East Conference and basketball coach at both Providence College and Dartmouth College.
Gavitt is a member of both NABC and NACDA. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth and an MBA from Providence College.