Alumni Hall Court Dedicated and George R. Bisacca Fund Created
On Friday, November 6, the annual exhibition game paid tribute to former Fairfield University Men’s Basketball Coach George Bisacca, where he was also honored at a special Friends of Men’s Basketball reception. To further carry on Bisacca’s legacy, a fund has been created with generous support from his children and grandchildren that will affect Fairfield student-athletes for many generations to come.
Bissaca, who served as the men’s basketball coach from 1958-1968 and as the University athletic director from 1962-1971, also worked as a lawyer, fathered six children, and served as an important paternal figure and mentor for scores of Fairfield students. Bisacca is affectionately known by many alumni and fans as ‘the Father of Fairfield Basketball’ and has a longstanding reputation as a coach who lived by Jesuit ideals.
“In all the times that I've spoken with Coach [Bisacca] and in all the instances that I've seen him with his players, it’s his legacy of being a smart, humble and caring leader that sticks with me,” said Sydney Johnson, the current Fairfield men’s basketball coach. Johnson also added that he was glad to have a front row seat both at the naming ceremony and later in the evening as Fairfield University, as an institution, took the time to honor one of its greatest educators.
At the reception, there were 140 members of the Friends of Basketball community, which included alumni athletes and Bisacca’s friends and family. At the pre-game Alumni House gathering, the group enjoyed a program with tribute video. Afterwards, they traveled together to Alumni Hall where a wall plaque was presented to Bisacca, accompanied by wife, Millie. The bronze relief installed in Alumni Hall was created with support from former players and extended family.
Then, just before the exhibition game between the Stags and the Purple Knights commenced, there was a court dedication ceremony where Coach Bisacca’s signature inscribed in the court floor was revealed.
“I felt as if I had walked into Alumni Hall for the first time as I did back in the winter of 1966,” said Jim Fitzpatrick '70, M.A.'72, assistant vice president of Administration and Student Affairs who emceed the court dedication. “Seeing the smile on the faces of Coach and Mrs. Bisacca when his signature on the court was unveiled gave me goose bumps! What a magical night for a wonderful man who embodies Fairfield basketball.”
The scholarship fund that has been created in honor of Bisacca is a result of the outpouring of support and enthusiasm from his children and grandchildren. The fund will be called The George R. Bisacca Fund for Men’s Basketball and will help support current student-athletes. Friends, extended family and others are invited to contribute to the Fund if they so desire.
"We’ve created the George R. Bisacca Fund for Men’s Basketball so that current and future varsity men’s basketball players will have the unique opportunity of personal contact with the Patriarch of the Bisacca family,” a representative of the Bisacca family said.
“His legacy at Fairfield University is based on the integrity and dedication to excellence with which he inspired, educated and mentored his players during his tenure as coach and athletic director. Amongst many lessons, he taught them that as a team they could achieve much greater heights than as individuals. The love and admiration his former players and colleagues have demonstrated toward him serve as evidence that he was not only 'the Father of Fairfield Basketball’, but a role model, beloved coach, and father figure to so many young men. We are pleased and proud to have created a vehicle through which many more college athletes may reap the benefits of his personal involvement.”
To learn more about contributing to the George R. Bisacca Fund for Men’s Basketball or about becoming a Friend of Fairfield Athletics, please contact Marie Muhvic, director of development for Athletics and Recreation, at (203) 254-4000, ext. 2474 or at firstname.lastname@example.org