Rollie Massimino, the legendary former Villanova coach who led the Wildcats to the 1985 national championship, has died.
On Tuesday, Kentucky head coach John Calipari tweeted that Massimino "needed our prayers," insinuating that the 82-year old's health had deteriorated.
Moments ago, the New York Daily News reported that Massimino had passed away this afternoon at a hospice near his Florida home.
From the NYDN:
Rollie Massimino, the fiery former Villanova University men's basketball coach who led the 1985 Wildcats team to an improbable NCAA championship over Patrick Ewing and the heavily-favored Georgetown Hoyas in the title game, died Wednesday in Florida. He was 82 and had recently entered a hospice care facility near his West Palm Beach home, according to the Florida Sun Sentinel.
Massimino's death was confirmed by Chuck Everson, a member of the 1985 squad.
Keiser University, the Florida NAIA Division II school that Massimino coached through the 2016-17 season, confirmed the news.
Expressing heartfelt sadness on behalf of the entire Keiser University community, Chancellor, Dr. Arthur Keiser shared the following:
Coach Rollie Massimino, who has admirably guided Keiser University men’s basketball program over the past 12 years, and famously achieved 816 wins during his 45-year coaching career, has sadly passed away at the age of 82. Coach Massimino, best known for his “family style” coaching, was considered to be one of the greatest college coaches of all time. Comforted at home by his family, friends, and fellow coaching greats, Coach Massimino tragically succumbed to health-related matters.
Massimino is most famous for his 1985 Villanova team, which made a shocking run to a national championship as an eight-seed in the NCAA Tournament, upsetting rival Georgetown, a No. 1 seed in the tournament, in the final. He was 355-241 during his Villanova tenure. 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.
Massimino had a career coaching record of 816–462. He was inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in 2013.
Our thoughts go out to his family, and everyone else affected by this loss.