Keaney Gymnasium is named in honor of Rhode Island's winningest coach, the legendary Frank Keaney. Keaney coached the Rams from 1920-48 and amassed a record of 401-124 (.764 winning percentage) in 28 seasons at the helm. Keaney is credited with inventing the fast break and the Keaney Ring. He also served as football coach from 1920-40 and is the school's second winningest gridiron coach with 70 victories.
Keaney is responsible for turning a game of patterned plodding into 40 minutes of frenzied excitement while overflow crowds, delighted at the spectacle of racehorse basketball, howled their approval. In an era when most teams did well to score 40 or 50 points a game, Rhode Island averaged nearly 80 and routinely led the nation in scoring. In 1940, they routed Connecticut 102-81 in what was then the highest scoring college game ever played.
Keaney retired from active coaching in 1948 and was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1960. Keaney, who is a charter member of the University of Rhode Island Athletic Hall of Fame, passed away on Oct. 10, 1967, at the age of 81.
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