Dec 24, 2002
SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. (AP)- Richie Regan, who spent nearly half a century at Seton Hall as a basketball player, coach, athletic director and fund-raiser, died Tuesday. He was 72.
Regan died at Jersey Shore Medical Center in Neptune, where he had been hospitalized since Dec. 14.
"I can think of no one person in Seton Hall's history who has been so completely associated with the university his whole life, from the time he was a freshman until the day he died," university president Monsignor Robert Sheeran said. "He was Mr. Seton Hall, as no one else has ever been."
Regan was a starter at Seton Hall from 1950-53, helping the team post an 80-12 record under coach John "Honey" Russell. The Pirates made three consecutive postseason appearances in the National Invitation Tournament.
Regan and the Pirates were the top-ranked team in the nation for most of his senior season. They finished 31-2 and won the 1953 National Invitation Tournament title, which was then the equivalent of today's NCAA Championship.
Regan ranks 22nd in scoring at the university with 1,167 career points. He is fourth with 443 career assists.
After a two-year stint in the military, Regan played three seasons in the NBA with the Rochester and Cincinnati Royals. He was a first-round draft pick by Rochester in 1953. In his final NBA season, he averaged 7.5 points per game and played in the All-Star game.
Regan replaced Russell as Seton Hall's coach in 1960. He won 112 games in 10 seasons.
After serving for two years as assistant athletic director, Regan was appointed director of athletics in 1971. During his tenure, Regan coordinated Seton Hall's entrance into the Big East Conference as one of the original seven members in 1979.
Working with associate athletic director Sue Dilley, the duo launched the women's athletics program at Seton Hall in 1973. He served in that position until he was appointed executive director of the Pirate Blue Athletic Fund in 1985. He was named a special assistant to the vice president of university affairs in 1998.
Regan, of Sea Girt, is survived by his second wife, Sue, and eight children.