Crotty '80 was star hoopster

by Jeremy Skog | 11/9/01 6:00am

Kevin Crotty '80 may never have come to Dartmouth at all, if not for Gary Walt, a former Dartmouth Basketball Coach.

A friend of the family who was associated with the New York Knicks had arranged for Crotty to go to William and Mary, according to his mother, Mary. But when Walt found out, he called up Crotty, pleading that he not give up a Dartmouth education and promising that he would start for the team next year.

Crotty took him up on the offer and became a member of Dartmouth's Class of 1980 that fall.

Crotty's athletic career was a love that developed throughout his entire life and eventually led him to love as well.

"He had hurt a ligament playing basketball," said Crotty's wife, Lori. She was the New York physical therapist who treated him. "After he was discharged he asked me out."

Kevin Crotty fell victim to the terrorist attack on Sept. 11.

His athletic career began at a young age -- beginning when he "played football and basketball in grammar school," his mother said.

From there, Crotty, the eldest of three children, attended The Loyola School in New York, where he played for the basketball team.

"He was certainly a wonderful athlete, an excellent basketball player," said Father Prior, former headmaster of the school and now Vice President of Alumni Relations. Every year the school gives out a trophy to the best athlete, Father Prior added, "I'm sure his name was on the trophy."

"He played very well," said his mother, "we went to every game ... they won all the games when they went to championships."

While in highschool, Crotty served on the student government and was "a very bright student," according to Father Prior. "He always did the New York Times crosswords. He found them very easy."

Crotty's academic skills would, along with basketball, eventually lead him to Dartmouth.

Once he got to the College, he played four games as a guard on the freshman squad, what current Class of 1980 President Merle Adelman called "a dismal team." The team went 10-7.

The next year he played in 16 of 26 games while the team went 10-16. He showed strong improvement and became the second-best free-throw shooter on the team.

Sophomore year was the last that Crotty would play for the team as other activities began to take their toll.

Leaving the team was "one of the worst disappointments he ever had," said his mother.

Crotty worked at Thayer Dining Hall with a "tight group" that included Adelman and Max West '80, a job that took up between 20 and 40 hours per week.

Crotty excelled and "got promoted to the highest upper-level management after two years. He was always very good with people," West said.

"People liked him, clearly," Adelman added.

West described the work as "as much a social experience and internship as it was a job ... we all had a lot of fun."

West's best memories of their friendship came from the times that they worked catering over Commencement and Reunion weekend, what he called the "7-by-24 C and R evolutions ... a heartwarming blur of good friends, sleeplessness and fun."

"We worked about 18 hours per day and socialized for the rest," West said.

West added that the guys loved partying with Crotty "because he was a babe magnet."

After graduating cum laude in economics, Crotty became a trader on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange for Lehman Brothers and later a bond trader at Sandler O'Neill & Partners on the 104th floor of 2 World Trade Center. He was appointed a trustee of Loyola School where he served for several years. He married and divorced once before he met his second wife, Lori.

With his new wife, Crotty satisfied his love for travel.

"We went everywhere under the sun," Lori said. "I used to give him a hard time because he was a very neat person. He always packed the suitcase because he didn't like the way I packed. Everything was always planned."

Crotty's favorite destinations were the beach and skiing, especially out west, where the family made a trip as often as possible, Lori said.

As he grew older, Crotty's interests shifted from sports to the theater. He would "try and get out every other weekend," Lori said.

His mother added that he loved Sondheim and "went to see everything he wrote. His favorite play was 'Sweeney Todd.'"

In 1994, Crotty was promoted to Managing Director, a reward that was overshadowed by the birth of his daughter Megan, now 7, followed by sons Kyle, 5, and Sean, 2.

"He and the kids had a set routine on Saturday morning," Lori said. "He would get up and walk into town about a mile" from his house in Summit, N.J., "and get coffee and the paper."

Crotty taught Sunday school at his church, the Presbyterian Church of New Providence. He was raised as a Catholic but became a Presbyterian, like his wife, when he was married.

Sunday afternoons were reserved for soccer games, though, where he enjoyed watching Kyle play.

The Sunday before the attack, "Kyle scored his first goal and Kevin had the biggest smile on his face, I'm so happy he got to see that," Lori told the Newark Star-Ledger.

"He was what you would think of as a New York City person," West said. "He always had a sharp wit and wasn't afraid to use it with me. You could always count on him to do whatever we needed to do."

"He was committed to any undertaking that he took," said Father Prior.

Crotty was 43 at the time of his death. He is survived by his wife, three children, parents Raymond and Mary and brothers Brian and David.