Beginninghis 35th season on the bench for Sacred Heart University, headcoach Dave Bike has guided the Pioneers on a succession of stepsthat resulted in a Division II National Championship through thetransition to Division I and culminating with his 500th careervictory. When the games tip-off in 2012-13, Bike will coachin his 1,000th career game when the Pioneers open against Yale inthe CT 6 Classic.
Bike owns a520-479 career record into this season, all for the only program hehas ever coached. He currently ranks 20th among active NCAAcoaches in wins and only Jim Boeheim of Syracuse has been at oneinstitution longer.
Bike and the Pioneers will begin their 14th season as a member ofthe Northeast Conference in 2012-13. He led his Pioneers backto the postseason last season, qualifying for the NEC Tournament asthe eighth seed. In SHU’s short Division I history,Bike has led the Pioneers to the NEC Tournament six times andcoached his club to the title game in back-to-back seasons in 2007and 2008. He ranks first among his NEC peers in careervictories and in 2010-11 with a 77-75 win at home over HolyCross, he earned the 500th win of his career.
The transition toDivision I and the Northeast Conference began for Sacred Heart in1999-2000. In their first year of eligibility for the NECplayoffs, his team nearly knocked off eventual champion CentralConnecticut State University in the semi-finals. He led his2006-07 team to an 18-14 record and 12-6 mark in the league, goodfor second place. The Pioneers ran through Wagner, 100-68,and Quinnipiac, 83-69, en route to their first-ever title gameappearance. SHU nearly pulled the upset over top-seed CCSU,as a late bucket by the Blue Devils beat the Pioneers74-70.
Bike led his teamto another 18-14 season the following year, posting a 13-5 NECrecord for a third place finish. The Pioneers avenged theirloss to Central Connecticut in the NEC quarterfinals, 84-71, andtopped Wagner on the road, 55-49, to earn the right to host theirfirst ever NEC Championship game. Bike’s Pioneersbattled but a Mount St. Mary’s team kept the NCAA dream justout of reach for SHU once again with a 68-55 win.
His journey asthe Pioneer’s leader began in 1978, taking the reins from theprograms only other head coach, Donald Feely. Bike serveddouble duty as Sacred Heart’s head men’s basketballcoach and athletic director until 1992 when current ExecutiveDirector of Athletics C. Donald Cook was appointed theuniversity’s fourth athletic director. Bike
Bike’sSacred Heart teams captured five NCAA Division II RegionalChampionships and four New England Collegiate Conference (NECC)titles. During the 1980s, the Pioneers competed in a remarkableseven straight NCAA regional championship games. During thatstretch his teams went an impressive 173-51 - winning 77.2 percentof their games.
Bike led thePioneers to the NCAA Division II National title during the 1985-86season. The 93-87 win over Southeast Missouri State in the championship game at theSpringfield Civic Center just down the road from the BasketballHall of Fame, was the first for a New England institution.Bike’s charges, led by All-American guard Roger Younger andTony Judkins, finished the campaign an impressive 30-4.
The NationalAssociation of Basketball Coaches (NABC) selected Bike as itsNational Coach of the Year in 1985-86. His coaching brethren alsovoted him NECC Coach of the Year three times. In 1990, Bike waspresented the Doggie Julian Award for outstanding service by theNew England Basketball Coaches Association (NEBCA).
Inhis youth, Dave Bike was perhaps one of the most gifted athletesfrom the State of Connecticut and certainly the best in the City ofBridgeport. He played with and against men from the region who wenton the play professionally in both basketball and baseball who willtell you what a fierce competitor and athlete Dave Bikewas.
Atnearby Notre Dame High School, he was an outstanding baseballplayer as well as an All-New England and All-State basketballselection that elected to bypass scholarship offers from Fordhamand Boston College to sign a professional baseballcontract.
Bike caughtprofessionally for eight seasons (1965-72) in the DetroitTigers’ farm system, reaching the Triple-A level. He playedsemi-professional basketball for several clubs during theoff-season. Just a width of the chalk line from the Major Leagues,Bike walked away from the game he loved to go college an embark ona career as a teacher and coach.
Hereturned home to Bridgeport and enrolled at Sacred Heart Universityand is a member of the third graduating class in school history.While a student, he served as an assistant coach to hispredecessor, J. Donald Feeley during the 1965-66 and 1966-67seasons and graduated with a B.A. in Mathematics. He returned tohis alma mater in 1978 after four seasons as an assistantbasketball coach at Division I Seattle University.
Inrecognition of his myriad of accomplishments, the ConnecticutSports Writers’ Alliance presented Bike with its prestigiousGold Key Award in February 1993. He was inducted into the FairfieldCounty Sports Hall of Fame in 2005, and his 1986 Championship teamwas inducted into the New England Basketball Hall of Fame in2003.
Bike, lives with his wife Judi (O’Connor) Bike ‘68 inNorth Haven. They are parents of four children, Kelly ‘91,Amy, Corey and Keith ‘01 MAT. Judi, Keith and Kelly are allSHU graduates, as are his son-in-law, Dan DeFrancesco ’87 and’07 MBA, and sister, Marilyn Torre ‘87. They have fourgrandchildren, Maggie and Jack DeFrancesco, and Keira and TylerBike.