DiGregorio played on the 1968 Rhode Island (Class B) champions at North Providence High School. He and Marvin Barnes led Coach Dave Gavitt’s Providence team to a Final Four appearance in the 1973 NCAA Tournament in DiGregorio’s senior season, where they eventually lost to Memphis State, but only after Barnes sustained a knee injury that forced an early exit. After ...
History of the Friars
The Providence Friars are the intercollegiate athletic teams that represent Providence College, located in Providence, Rhode Island. They compete in the Big East Conference (NCAA Division I) for every sport except for ice hockey, where they compete in Hockey East. The Big East Conference was founded in 1979 by the former athletic director and men's basketball coach Dave Gavitt. On December 15, 2012, Providence and the other seven Catholic, non-FBS schools announced that they were departing the Big East for a new conference; on March 7, 2013, it was officially confirmed that Providence's new conference would operate under the Big East name. The women's volleyball team, which had been an associate member of the America East Conference before the Big East split, remained in that conference for one more season before joining the Big East for the 2014 season.
The school's men's and women's sports teams are called the Friars, after the Dominican Order that runs the school. They are the only collegiate team to use the name.
Following Mullaney's departure, Dave Gavitt, an assistant under Mullaney who then became head coach at Dartmouth, took over as the Friars' head coach in 1969. In his second year, Gavitt began a string of eight consecutive 20-win seasons. For the 1972–73 season, the team began playing in downtown Providence at the brand-new 12,000-seat arena, the Providence Civic Center (renamed the Dunkin' Donuts Center in 2001). That season was the Friars' best to date; led by Ernie DiGregorio and the troubled center Marvin Barnes, the team went on a 17-team game-winning streak that ended in a Final Four loss to Memphis State. The next year, the Friars posted a 28–4 record and made their second straight Sweet Sixteen appearance. The team continued its top-flight status with back-to-back 20-win seasons in 1976–77 and 1977–78, earning NCAA Tournament bids each year, one coming after defeating top-ranked Michigan in 1976. After a 10–16 season in 1978–79, Gavitt left Providence to become the first commissioner of the Providence-based Big East Conference. He finished his 10-year career at Providence with a 209–84 (.713) record.
College Sports Established
Providence, Rhode Island
1973 - Present / NCAA Division 1
1921 - 1973 / University Division of the NCAA
1979 - Present / Big East Conference
1921 – 1979 / Independent
Friars - The nickname "Friars" dates back to 1929 when a Providence Journal article used the nickname in reference to the baseball team. Previously, the teams were variously known as "The Black and White" or "Dominicans." The Friars' nickname comes from the short-form nickname of the Dominican Order, the "Blackfriars."
Men's Basketball 0
Women's Basketball 0
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