Publish date:

National Championship-Winning Villanova Coach Rollie Massimino Dead at 82

Rollie Massimino led Villanova to an iconic national title upset of Georgetown in 1985. 

Longtime Villanova head coach Rollie Massimino has died, Keiser University announced Wednesday. He was 82.

Massimino coached the Wildcats from 1973 to 1992, followed by stints at UNLV and Cleveland State. He spent the last 11 seasons coaching at Keiser (formerly known as Northwood University), a NAIA school in Florida, and led the team to a 23–9 record last season. 

Massimino is best known for leading Villanova to the 1985 national championship as a No. 8 seed. The Wildcats were an eight-point underdog in the final against top-seeded Georgetown and won 66–64, becoming the second-biggest underdog to win a title game. 

From the Vault: The Perfect Game

SI Recommends

A Florida CBS affiliate reported Tuesday that Massimino had entered hospice care. Kentucky coach John Calipari said Tuesday afternoon that Massimino was in need of prayers

“As our campus community deeply mourns the loss of Coach Massimino, we extend our warmest thoughts and condolences to his wife Mary Jane and the entire Massimino family,” Keiser said in a statement. “We are so truly honored to have shared this time with him and take some degree of comfort in knowing the positive impact he has had on college students for the last four decades remains immeasurable.”