CLEVELAND, Ohio - Rollie Massimino, the legendary college basketball coach who served at Cleveland State from 1996-03, passed away on Wednesday at his Florida home at the age of 82.
"Every basketball lifer has a void in their heart today," CSU head coach Dennis Felton said. "Coach Mass was a giant of basketball because he loved the game and was an easy guy to love. He dramatically impacted the lives of so many young players and brought joy to thousands of fans. I know that CSU and its fans are glad that he once graced our sideline.
"I feel blessed that I was able to talk and share with Coach Mass recently. Witnessing his incredible optimism, strength and drive to serve in the face of severe health challenges in recent years has truly been inspirational. We wish his family peace and thank them for sharing him with us all these years."
During his time at CSU, Massimino led the Vikings to 90 wins, including a second place finish in the Midwestern Collegiate Conference in 1999-00.
He began his coaching career at Stonybrook (1969-71) before taking over at Villanova (1976-92) where he won 355 games and led the Wildcats to the 1985 NCAA Championship over a heavily favored Georgetown squad.
Massimino also served as the head coach at UNLV (1992-94) and recently completed his 11th season as the head coach at Keiser University in Florida where he led the Seahawks to nine NAIA Division II Tournament appearances and 312 wins, including a national runner-up finish in 2012.
Massimino recorded 816 victories over the course of his career as a college head coach.