The AP reports:

Dave Gavitt had an impact on the world of basketball. From a career as a successful coach to changing the face of college sports to introducing the Olympics to a Dream Team, Gavitt’s touch was everywhere.

His death Friday night after a long illness was confirmed by his family Saturday. He died in a hospital near his hometown of Rumford, R.I. He was 73.

Gavitt coached Providence 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 onto the U.S. Olympic roster, including the Dream Team at the 1992 Games.

“He was not only a great basketball coach and organizer of the Big East but he was a great, great statesman for basketball, college and international,” former St. John’s coach and fellow Naismith Hall of Famer Lou Carnesecca said Saturday.