Rollie Massimino, who led Villanova to '85 NCAA title, dies

AP Basketball Author

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) – Rollie Massimino, who led Villanova’s storied run to the 1985 NCAA championship and gained greater than 800 video games in his teaching profession, died Wednesday after an extended battle with most cancers. He was eighty two.

Massimino’s dying was introduced by Keiser College, the place he was nonetheless the lads’s basketball coach. He spent the ultimate days of his life in hospice care.

Greatest recognized for that nationwide title at Villanova, Massimino additionally coached at Stony Brook, UNLV and Cleveland State. He spent the final eleven years of his life at Keiser, the place he began this system and turned it into an NAIA energy.

“We’re so really honored to have shared this time with him and take a point of consolation in understanding the constructive impression he has had on school college students for the final 4 many years stays immeasurable,” Keiser Chancellor Arthur Keiser stated.

Massimino confronted quite a few well being points in recent times but by no means stopped teaching. And regardless that he left Villanova 25 years in the past, he was nonetheless thought-about household by the Wildcats and coach Jay Wright.

“If not for Rollie Massimino, I am not even part of this,” Wright as soon as stated. “If not for the Massive East, Rollie Massimino isn’t Rollie Massimino. I do know it. He is aware of it. And if not for the Massive East, nobody is aware of about Villanova.”

Wright was given a championship ring from 1985, and Massimino was given a championship ring from 2016. Wright wasn’t working at Villanova in the course of the first title season; Massimino wasn’t formally there for the second. However Wright labored Massimino’s camps within the mid-Nineteen Eighties earlier than coming to Villanova, in order that made him a part of the household.

Massimino went out of his option to care for these he thought-about household. So Wright acquired that 1985 ring. And the one second when Wright teared up at Villanova’s 2016 ring ceremony was when he handed Massimino his piece of championship jewellery.

“Whenever you’re a younger coach and also you develop up in Philly, Rollie Massimino is a legend to you,” Wright stated.

Roland Vincent Massimino was born Nov. thirteen, 1934, in New Jersey, performed his school basketball at Vermont and acquired his grasp’s diploma from Rutgers. His first head teaching job was at his alma mater, Hillside Excessive Faculty, in 1962. His school teaching profession began at Stony Brook in 1969, and after two seasons he turned an assistant at Penn – beneath Chuck Daly.

Massimino and Daly would stay shut till Daly’s demise in 2009. Like Daly, Massimino was all the time dapper on the sidelines. So when Daly died,…

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