Thursday, 21 November, 2019

Former Villanova Basketball Coach Rollie Massimino Dies at Age 82

Villanova Villanova coach Rollie Massimino takes a victory ride on his players shoulders
Lamar Ellis | 01 September, 2017, 02:39

Massimino is most famous for coaching the Villanova Wildcats to a National Championship in 1985, knocking off of Georgetown in one of college basketball's greatest upsets ever.

Rollie Massimino, the coach who guided Villanova to one of college basketball's most improbable national titles, died Wednesday at the age of 82. His love of community and his ability to foster a sense of family within his teams and the larger Villanova community saw Massimino become an integral part of the University's community.

"The family of Villanova basketball has always been strong", Wright said, "But when Coach Mass came here, he taught all of us how to perpetuate that. he made sure that it always lived on, and that's the best thing about Coach Mass, he's such a powerful force, all the great players and the coaches that coached with him, we are all products of him". He never stopped being a cherished mentor and friend. The Wildcats went to 11 NCAA Tournaments - including three Sweet 16s, one Elite Eight and its first national championship under Massimino's watch. "Mass, his wife of 59 years, his five children - Tom, Lee Ann, Michele, R.C. and Andrew - and his 17 grandchildren". Villanova posted 10 seasons of 20 victories or more in Massimino's tenure and he was the 1982 BIG EAST Coach of the Year. Each of the players recruited to Villanova by Massimino who spent four years in the program earned his degree. Massimino was selected as a finalist for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame earlier this year, but he fell short of the votes needed for induction.

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Until recent years, Massimino was in relatively good health. He won his 800th career game last December as Keiser defeated Trinity Baptist 77-47. He also coached at Stony Brook, UNLV, and Cleveland State, before taking over at Keiser, formerly the Florida branch of Northwood University before a sale, in 2006.

He had an overall coaching record of 816-462 in 41 seasons.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

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