Burt Kahn dead


Burt Kahn, who was the director of athletics and a basketball coach at Quinnipiac University for 34 years, has died.

Kahn, who had lived in Hamden, died in Tampa, Fla. on Tuesday. He was 74.

As Quinnipiac’s athletic director from 1961 to 1995, Kahn expanded the school’s sports program from three men’s teams to 16 men’s and women’s teams.

When he started, Quinnipiac played in the NAIA program, and when he retired, the school was preparing to enter Division I of the NCAA.

He was the head basketball coach from 1961 to 1991 and compiled a 459-358 record with six seasons where the team won 20 or more games.

Friends and colleagues recalled that Kahn had a gruff exterior and a personality that was hard to get along with, but he also had a compassionate side.

“I look back and just wish he were more comfortable showing everybody that soft, compassionate side, because it’s what made Burt so special,” said Bill Mecca, who succeeded Kahn as head basketball coach. “He lived in either black or white, and I spent a lot of time trying to convince him that gray was a good color.”

Quinnipiac named the basketball court after Kahn in 1996. He will be indicted posthumously into the New England Basketball Hall of Fame in September.

Kahn also had been the director of athletics for the Meriden Boys’ Club.

He was born in New York in 1930. He is survived by two sisters and several nieces, nephews and cousins.

A funeral was scheduled for Friday at Temple B’Nai Abraham in Meriden.