INDIANAPOLIS — The National Invitation Tournament and The Madison Square Garden Company have reached an extension that will keep the NIT in New York City through the 2021 championship. Additionally, the NIT has named University of North Texas vice president and director of athletics Wren Baker and West Coast Conference commissioner Gloria Nevarez its newest committee members.
A fixture in New York and at Madison Square Garden since the tournament began in 1938, the NIT is the nation’s oldest postseason tournament. The agreement guarantees that the semifinal and championship games of the NIT will be played in New York through the 84th NIT Championship.
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“The NIT and Madison Square Garden have a long and tremendous history,” said Dan Gavitt, NCAA senior vice president of basketball. “We’re excited that the championship will continue for another two years at the World’s Most Famous Arena.”
“We are delighted to carry on our relationship with the NCAA and the NIT Tournament,” said Joel Fisher, executive vice president, MSG Marquee Events and Operations. “The season-ending tournament has been providing lasting college basketball memories at Madison Square Garden since 1938 and we are thrilled the tradition of crowning the NIT Champion on the Garden court will continue.”
Baker and Nevarez are the two newest members of the eight-person NIT committee.
Baker is in his fourth year at North Texas after serving as deputy director of athletics and interim director of athletics at Missouri. He also served on the athletics staff at Memphis and was director of athletics at Division II Northwest Missouri State and at Rogers State where he also served one year as the head men’s basketball coach. Baker began his career in college athletics as a graduate assistant and as a basketball operations assistant for the Oklahoma State men’s basketball teams under Eddie Sutton.
Nevarez returned to the West Coast Conference as commissioner in April of 2018 after serving as the Pac-12’s senior associate commissioner and senior woman administrator since 2010. While at the Pac-12, Nevarez’s duties included serving as the conference liaison for men’s basketball and as the tournament director for the men’s basketball tournament in Las Vegas. In addition to the Pac-12, Nevarez has worked in athletics administration roles at Oklahoma, the WCC, California and San Jose State and she was a basketball student-athlete at Massachusetts. During her career, Nevarez has served on a number of NCAA committees including the NCAA Management Council and is currently a member of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Oversight Committee.
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The 2020 NIT Committee will be chaired by Mike Montgomery. Montgomery was inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in 2016 after serving as the head men’s basketball coach at California, Stanford and Montana. During his collegiate coaching career, Montgomery won 677 games and reached the NCAA tournament 16 times.
Beginning in 2015-16, NIT Committee members were appointed to serve a maximum four-year term, and the committee features a mix of current athletic administrators who are actively working at NCAA institutions or conferences, former collegiate head men’s basketball coaches and former athletics administrators.
In addition to Montgomery, Baker and Nevarez, the 2020 NIT Committee members are:
- Dave Odom – Former men’s basketball head coach at East Carolina, Wake Forest and South Carolina.
- Oliver Purnell – Former men’s basketball head coach at Radford, Old Dominion, Dayton, Clemson and DePaul.
- Judy Rose – Former director of athletics and women’s basketball head coach at Charlotte and the first woman to serve as a member of the NCAA Division I men’s basketball committee.
- Gary Walters – Former director of athletics at Princeton and former men’s basketball head coach at Middlebury, Union (New York), Dartmouth and Providence. Walters served as a member of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee from 2002-07 and chaired the committee in 2006-07.
- Vaughn Williams – Senior associate director of athletics at Boston College.
The NIT Committee is responsible for the selection, seeding and bracketing of the 32-team postseason championship.
The 2020 National Invitation Tournament starts Tuesday, March 17, at campus sites. The NIT semifinals and championship game will be March 31 and April 2 at Madison Square Garden in New York.