The sports world lost a legend on Wednesday when Rollie Massimino passed away at the age of 82. Rollie was the man who led the 1985 Villanova Wildcats to the biggest upset in Final Four history and brought a championship back to the Main Line after defeating the Georgetown Hoyas in Cinderella fashion.
Massimino was well respected in the sports world and many shared fond remembrances of him on social media.
Current Villanova basketball coach Jay Wright, like all in the 'Nova community, was touched by Rollie.
"The Nova Nation has lost a legend and great leader," Wright said (more from him here). "Coach's love of family, community, and teamwork were evident in every game his teams ever played. All of us, as coaches and players, idolized Coach Mass. He inspired and impacted all of our lives. He never stopped being a cherished mentor and friend."
Former Villanova coach Steve Lappas:
RIP Coach Mass! The man who taught me so much and gave me the opp to be a D1 coach. I owe all 2 him for giving it to me. Chance of lifetime— Steve Lappas (@stlappas) August 30, 2017
Coach hired me from HS coaching. 1st night at dinner with wives he said " u went from being Mickey Mouse to Micky Mantle" truest words ever— Steve Lappas (@stlappas) August 30, 2017
Coach taught me everything about how 2 be a coach! How to run a program! He even made me shave my stache as asst.He was a defensive genius!— Steve Lappas (@stlappas) August 30, 2017
Kentucky coaching legend John Calipari:
Hall of Fame coach and human being Rollie Massimino has passed away. A sad day for all bball fans. Prayers and thoughts are with his family.— John Calipari (@UKCoachCalipari) August 30, 2017
Others in the sports world:
Rollie Massimino cared more about his Villanova players than himself. Won over 800 games and the travesty is he's not in BB Hall Of Fame— Howard Eskin (@howardeskin) August 30, 2017
RIP to Rollie Massimino. A legendary coach, and an amazing person. #NovaNation lost one of their best today.— VU Hoops 🏆🏆🏆 (@VUhoops) August 30, 2017
Very saddened to hear about Rollie's passing. An icon of Philadelphia basketball whose place in the city's history is cemented forever. pic.twitter.com/YS2xzDLwKP— Steve Donahue (@Coach_Donahue) August 30, 2017
I was in Lexington the night Rollie won it all. Brilliant coach & motivator. A fascinating, passionate man. R.I.P. to one of the greats. https://t.co/P2OtndlLBN— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) August 30, 2017
RIP Coach Mass #legend— Ryan Arcidiacono (@RyArch15) August 30, 2017
Rest well coach massimino.. you was an inspiration to me!! Love you coach!!— Kyle Lowry (@Klow7) August 30, 2017
Coach Patrick Ewing's statement on the passing of Rollie Massimino: pic.twitter.com/frSrF39LbJ— Georgetown Hoops (@GeorgetownHoops) August 30, 2017