Greenwich native Kavanagh leads Florida Gulf Coast

Florida Gulf Coast’s stunning 78-68 win over Georgetown in the opening-round of the NCAA Tournament had a Greenwich connection to it.

Greenwich native Ken Kavanagh is Director of Athletics at Florida Gulf Coast University, which as the USA Today pointed out tonight, did not exist until 1991, but as a No. 15 seed, upset No. 2-seeded Georgetown in the South Region. Florida Gulf Coast will play the San Diego State-Oklahoma winner in Sunday’s second round.

Since Kavanagh arrived at Florida Gulf Coast in 2009, the school’s success in athletics has reached new heights. The Eagles’ sports teams have combined to win 11 Atlantic Sun regular season titles, six Atlantic Sun tournament titles and three Coastal Collegiate Swimming Association Championships. Before being named Director of Athletics at Florida Gulf Coast he spent a successful stint as A.D. at Bradley University (1996-2009).

The Kavanagh name is familiar in Greenwich. Ken is the son of John Kavanagh, who received the Greenwich Old Timer’s Athletic Association’s first Coach’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010. John Kavanagh led the Knights of Columbus to eight championships in the George M. Weiss Senior Babe Ruth League during his 28-year coaching career. Over the years, Ken Kavanagh has credited his father and uncle Kevin, the former Loyola College A.D. for sparking his interest in sports.

Dave Fierro