Northwood University is sad to learn of the passing of longtime men’s basketball coach Rollie Massimino at the age of 82 in West Palm Beach, Florida.
“We are deeply saddened to hear of Rollie’s passing,” said Keith Pretty, Northwood University president and chief executive officer. “Rollie was one of the greatest basketball minds of our time, and helped develop young men not only on the court but in life. Outside of his basketball acumen, he was a great husband, father and friend. He will be deeply missed by the Northwood University family.”
Rollie was a close friend of Northwood University, where he coached at the Florida campus for more than a decade. While at Northwood, he had an impressive 171-37 record, and a winning percentage of 82 percent. He became the 39th coach to achieve 800 career wins.
Aside from a prolific basketball coaching career, Rollie was dedicated to seeing his student athletes become leaders in business. His “team” approach to life was always strong, particularly with his wife Mary Jane.
“Rollie did everything with passion,” said Pretty. “One of my favorite memories of him was his immense pride when Massimino Court, inside Countess de Hoernle Student Life Center, was dedicated in his honor. He established a world-class collegiate basketball program in West Palm Beach.”
Prior to coaching at Northwood, Rollie coached at Stony Brook University, Villanova University, University of Nevada, Las Vegas and Cleveland State University. He is likely best known for coaching his Villanova Wildcats to a historic win over Georgetown University to win the 1985 NCAA Tournament.