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Pete Gillen (born in Brooklyn, New Yorkmarker on June 20, 1947) is a former American basketball head coach of the NCAA Division I Xavier Musketeers, Providence Friarsmarker and Virginia Cavaliers and is a member of the New York City Basketball Hall of Fame. Coach Gillen is currently a College Basketball Analyst with the CBS College Sports Network.


Playing career

Gillen was two sport athlete in baseball and basketball at Fairfield Universitymarker where he received his bachelor’s degree in English Literature in 1968.

Coaching career

Coach Gillen began his coaching career at his high school alma mater Brooklyn Prep where he was an English teacher. He soon moved to the collegiate level when he joined the coaching staff of the University of Hawaii, with Rick Pitino as one of his fellow assistants. Gillen followed that with subsequent assistant coaching stints at the Virginia Military Institutemarker; Villanova University under Rollie Massimino, and the University of Notre Dame under Digger Phelps from 1980 to 1985.

He was head basketball coach at Xavier Universitymarker from 1985 to 1994, Providence Collegemarker from 1994 to 1998, and the University of Virginiamarker from 1998 to 2005.

At Xavier, Gillen compiled an impressive record, taking the Musketeers to the NCAA tournament seven times and to the NIT tournament once (1994). Gillen is still the most successful coach in school history at Xavier, having won 202 games in the third-longest tenure ever for a XU coach.

Following his success at Xavier, Gillen was hired at Providence to replace Rick Barnes, who had left to coach Clemson University. He followed PC's 1994 Big East title with two trips to the NIT before the Friar's 1997 run to the Elite Eight, upsetting Marquette and Duke and beating Chattanooga before losing in overtime to eventual national champion Arizona.

Following a tough 1997–98 year, where he lost four starters (three to graduation, and one, God Shammgod, to the NBA draft), Gillen moved on, replacing Jeff Jones at Virginia, who resigned on March 15, 1998 after eight years as the Cavaliers’ head coach. Gillen's seven Virginia teams compiled an overall record of 118–93 and competed in five postseason tournaments. The Cavaliers participated in the 2001 NCAA Tournament and in the National Invitation Tournament four times. He resigned after the 2004–05 season.

In September 2008, Gillen was inducted into the New York City Basketball Hall of Fame along with NBA stars Kenny Anderson, Sam Perkins and Rod Strickland, and pioneers Lou Bender and Eddie Younger.

USA Basketball

Coach Gillen was an assistant coach under Don Nelson for the US national team during the 1994 FIBA World Championship, winning the gold medal.

Broadcasting career

Coach Gillen is currently a College Basketball Analyst with the CBS College Sports Network.He is famous for his thick Brooklyn accent, and his comment after Providence College's defeat of Duke in the 1997 NCAA second round in Charlotte: "Certainly Duke is Duke, they're on TV more than Leave it to Beaver reruns." The quote is often parodied and exaggerated by sports radio host Jim Rome.


  1. Plenty of star power at NYC HOF ceremony
  3. Mallozzi, Vincent M. "City’s Basketball Hall Welcomes 98-Year-Old Inductee", The New York Times, September 17, 2008. Accessed September 14, 2009.
  4. 1994 USA Basketball

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