National Championship-Winning Villanova Coach Rollie Massimino Dead at 82

Rollie Massimino dies; led

Legendary Villanova men's basketball coach Rollie Massimino has died at 82 years old after a battle with lung cancer. By giving 100 percent himself, on and off the court, he instilled enthusiasm into everyone around him with ceaseless energy that radiated onto his basketball players. He was the coach at Keiser, which recently changed its name from Northwood, since 2006.

It would have been hard to imagine Massimino reaching such heights when he began his coaching career as an assistant at Cranford High in New Jersey. Massimino spent a decade as a high school coach before being hired by Stony Brook in 1969.

Massimino cemented his legend when he led the Wildcats to an improbable NCAA Tournament title in 1985. In 1985, he was named National Coach of the Year by MacGregor Sporting Goods and in 1982, he earned Big East Coach of the Year accolades, just one of eight times he was honored on a league basis in the NCAA. But in the championship game, the Wildcats played a mix of zone and man to man defense - sometimes in the same possession - and a deliberate offense, hitting 79% of their shots to pull off what is still considered to be the greatest upset in championship game history. "Coach's love of family, community, and teamwork were evident in every game his teams ever played". Massimino left in 1992 to replace Jerry Tarkanian at UNLV, but his stint was brief - just two years - after it was revealed he had cut a side deal with school president Robert Maxson to boost his salary.

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Massimino was also NAIA National Coach of the Year (2011) and Rawlings National Coach of the Year (2012).

In the 2016-17 season with the Seahawks, Massimino became the 39th head coach to record 800 career wins, according to the statement.

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