|This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (June 2010)|
File:Rollie Massimino - 2009 03 21 in Philadelphia.jpg|
Massimino in Philadelphia on March 21, 2009
November 13, 1934|
Hillside, New Jersey
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
Cranford HS (assistant)|
|Head coaching record|
0–2 (NCAA College Division)|
21–10 (NCAA Division I)
11–7 (NAIA Division II)
9–2 (EBCL / Eastern 8)
13–12 (Big East)
2–2 (Big West)
|Accomplishments and honors|
College Basketball Hall of Fame|
Inducted in 2013
Roland V. "Rollie" Massimino (born November 13, 1934) is an American basketball coach and former player. He is currently the head men's basketball coach at the Florida campus of Northwood University in West Palm Beach, a position he has held since 2006. Massimino previously served as the head men's basketball coach at Stony Brook University (1969–1971), Villanova University (1973–1992), the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (1992–1994), and Cleveland State University (1996–2003). At Villanova, he led his 1984–85 team to the NCAA Championship. Entering the 1985 NCAA Tournament as an eight seed, Villanova defeated their heavily favored Big East Conference foe, the Georgetown Hoyas, who had Patrick Ewing, in the National Championship Game. The upset is widely regarded as one of the greatest in North American sports history.
Massimino has a master's degree equivalent in health and physical education from Rutgers University (1959) and a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Vermont (1956). While a student at UVM, he became a member of the Alpha-Lambda Chapter of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity.
After graduating from the University of Vermont, where he played varsity basketball for three years, Massimino entered the coaching ranks in 1956. In 1959, he began a three-year tenure as an assistant coach at Cranford High School in Cranford, New Jersey; this was Massimino's high school alma mater.
Massimino took his first head coach position in 1962 at Hillside High School in New Jersey. With the support of high school All-American Bill Shutsky and others (Shutsky later captained the West Point basketball team), Massimino led the Comets to the state Group IV finals in 1963 and 1964. In both seasons, Hillside was defeated in the final playoff game by Newark's Central High School. The Comets lost during both years to a team composed of taller players, despite pushing the thrilling 1963 championship game into double-overtime.
From there, Massimino moved to Lexington High School in Massachusetts. In 1965, he led the Lexington squad to a state championship and later[when?] led another to a 20–1 record.[vague] Along the way, Massimino was laying the foundation for an elite scholastic program which later dominated the Middlesex League, winning state titles in 1971, 1972, and 1978 along with league championships in 16 of the past 30 years.
In ten seasons as a high school coach, Massimino compiled a 160–61 record.
Massimino's collegiate debut came in 1969 as head coach of the State University of New York at Stony Brook. In his first season the Seawolves won the conference championship after going 19–6, earning a berth in the NCAA small college tournament. Massimino's next stop was as an assistant coach under Chuck Daly at the University of Pennsylvania.
Massimino left Penn in March 1973, succeeding John Kraft as head coach of Villanova and leading the 1984-85 Wildcats team to one of the greatest upsets in NCAA tournament history by knocking off top-seeded Georgetown University (Washington, D.C.) in the 1985 NCAA Tournament Championship Game. The road to the finals proved an even greater challenge, kicking off with a win on #9-seed Dayton's home court, followed by victories over #1-seed Michigan, #4-seed Maryland, #2-seed North Carolina, before culminating in a Final Four victory over #2-seeded Memphis State.
After Villanova's unexpected championship run Massimino was offered the job of head coach of the National Basketball Association New Jersey Nets, which he declined in order to devote more time to his family.
Massimino resigned from Villanova in 1992 to assume the head coaching job at UNLV. The initial hope was that he could restore the success and credibility of the UNLV program after the basketball team's 1991–92 probation and the forced resignation of long-time coach Jerry Tarkanian. Two years later, Massimino was himself forced out when it was revealed that he and UNLV president Robert Maxson had cut a side deal to lift Massimino's salary above the figure being reported to the state of Nevada and state commission ruled that this had violated both state ethics laws, as well as UNLV rules.
Moving onto the Cleveland State University in 1996, Massimino's teams recorded a 90–113 record in his seven seasons as coach. Massimino's contract was bought out following a series of off-court issues.[vague]. These included several players with drug and alcohol problems, other players arrested for serious crimes, and allegations of academic fraud. See http://www.cbssports.com/collegebasketball/story/7613396/1
Massimino is currently the head coach for the men's basketball team at Northwood University in West Palm Beach, Florida, members in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). The 2006–07 Northwood coached by Massimino was its inaugural season in The Sun Conference. In his first four seasons with the Seahawks, Massimino led Northwood to four FSC regular season titles, four appearances in the NAIA National tournament, and the Seahawks reached the Elite Eight in 2008. Massimino and the Seahawks have received bids to the NAIA tournament in all of his eight seasons at Northwood, with the team's best finishes a place in the national semifinals in 2011 and a national runner-up finish in 2012. Though the end of the 2013-14 season, Massimino's overall record at Northwood stands at 227–48 (.825 winning percentage). http://seahawks.gonorthwood.com/sports/mbkb/coaches/index.
On November 1, 2012, Massimino returned to Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky for the first time since his 1985 championship triumph, playing a preseason exhibition game against reigning NCAA Division I champions Kentucky. The game was played at the request of Massimino after indicating to Kentucky head coach John Calipari that the 2012–13 season could be his last in coaching. In a later interview, Massimino hedged somewhat, saying, "I don't know if it's my last [season]. I hope I can go another year or so." Kentucky introduced Massimino with a video montage of the final minutes of Villanova's 1985 victory.
Massimino and his wife, Mary Jane, have five children—Tom, Lee Ann, Michele, Roland (R. C.), and Andrew—as well as 17 grandchildren—Roland, Stephen, Tommy, Michael, Kayla, John, Kristin, Leo, Matthew, Grace, Megan, Nicholas, Jessica, Nicole, Roland Michael, Melissa, and Rocco.
Head coaching record
- Carey, Jack (March 15, 2010). "Efficient '85 Villanova team mounted tourney's greatest upset". USA Today. Retrieved October 16, 2011.
- The Ariel. Burlington, VT: University of Vermont. 1954. pp. 200–201.
- Tipton, Jerry (October 31, 2012). "UK notes: Massimino revisits site of "historic moment"". Lexington Herald-Leader. Retrieved November 2, 2012.
- Associated Press (November 1, 2012). "Kentucky Rolls Past Northwood in Exhibition". University of Kentucky Athletics. Retrieved November 2, 2012.