Dear Members of the Villanova Community:
It is with great sadness that I inform the Villanova community that coaching legend, Roland “Rollie” Massimino, who was the head Men’s Basketball Coach at Villanova from 1973 to 1992, passed away Wednesday afternoon at the age of 82. Coach was at his home in Florida, surrounded by family.
Coach Massimino won the hearts of the nation during the Wildcats’ 1985 championship run when Villanova, as an eight seed, defeated the heavily favored Georgetown Hoyas in an upset that is widely recognized as one of the greatest in sports history.
This may have been his most notable win, however, during Coach Massimino’s tenure here, he led the Wildcats to 357 victories, including 20 in the NCAA Tournament. In addition to the 1985 NCAA title, he led Villanova to Elite Eight appearances in 1978, 1982, 1983 and 1988. Coach Massimino was named the BIG EAST Coach of the Year in 1982 and was inducted into the Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in 2013.
A beloved member of the Villanova family, Coach leaves a legacy that will have a lasting impact on the Villanova Men’s Basketball Program for generations to come. He never forgot about his Villanova roots, and was there in 2016 to cheer the Men’s Basketball Team onto victory when they clinched the 2016 NCAA Championship win for a second time. Click here for more on the legendary life and career of Coach Massimino.
Coach Massimino’s dedication to and love for coaching never ended. After a three-year retirement, he returned in 2006 to Northwood, later renamed Keiser University. He earned his 800th career coaching win last December, finishing his career with 816 victories.
Coach’s love of family, community and team were always evident during his life, and we extend our deepest sympathies to his wife, five children and the entire Massimino family. A memorial Mass on campus will be held in his honor, and we will share that information once those arrangements have been finalized.
Please keep Coach Massimino’s family in your thoughts and prayers.
Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, PhD
President, Villanova University