Charlie Titus Invited to Selection Committee of NE Basketball Hall of Fame

Jason Campos

For those who may be unfamiliar with the history of basketball, New England has a special attachment to the sport. It was invented in the Massachusetts city of Springfield over 110 years ago by one Dr. James Naismith. However, what may be unknown to many is that New England was a hotbed of hoopla mania for the first 70 years of its existence.

Although the National Basketball Hall of Fame is housed appropriately in Springfield, it does not honor the memory of those individuals whose contribution did not necessarily extend to the national spotlight. However, one man’s idea to do so has come to fruition with the newly created New England Basketball Hall of Fame.

Dan Doyle is the founder and executive director of the Institute for International Sport at the University of Rhode Island. He first conceived the idea at a dinner for a retiring sports columnist. The attendees included some notable names in the history of basketball in New England, such as former Celtic great and Boston College coach Bob Cousy.

The Hall of Fame will be housed at the venerable Keaney Gynasium at the University of Rhode Island. Doyle’s task, as he sees it, is to get the institution off the ground, and handle matters such as the annual dinner for the inductees and the display of the exhibits. It is also important to Doyle that the Hall of Fame remains true to its mission.

“An important objective of the New England Basketball Hall of Fame is to honor a wide variety of individuals and teams whose important contributions have been at the heart of New England basketball success,” said Doyle.

The wide range of eligible members includes former players, coaches, and administrators from high schools, prep schools, junior colleges, Division I, Division II, and Division III college programs. Professional players and coaches can also be considered, but only if their pro or amateur career made a significant contribution to sport in this region.

Who would be qualified to filter through the rich history and select individuals worthy enough to be honored at the New England Hall of Fame? One such person is Charlie Titus, UMass Boston’s athletic director and men’s basketball coach, who was asked to become a member of the Selection Committee. The Selection Committee is responsible for the reviewing the backgrounds of potential inductees and making the final selections.

“It’s certainly an honor to be named to the Selection Committee,” said Titus. “This brand new initiative will be purely focused on New England basketball. Since I’ve been a part of the basketball community in Boston and Massachusetts for a long time, it’s a privilege to serve. The committee will take a long hard look to ensure that those who are deserving are recognized.”

Titus’s credentials are extensive and impressive. He has coached at UMass-Boston for 27 years as the head coach, with the program reaching regional prominence several times during the 1980s and 1990s. He currently serves as a member of the NCAA Division III tournament committee and he formerly chaired the ECAC Division III tournament.

However, Titus’s involvement with the sport of basketball extends beyond the collegiate level. He is a member of the Boston Celtics Community Advisory Panel and the Associate Committee for the Boston Public Schools Athletic Board. He has received several awards in recognition of his community service as well.