Massimino's role likely to include coaching
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Rollie Massimino has been selected head of basketball operations at Northwood University, a fledgling NAIA program, the school's provost said Friday.
Best known for leading underdog Villanova to the 1985 NCAA championship, Massimino, 70, will be introduced at a news conference at the South Florida school on April 27.
The job will likely involve some coaching, but Provost John Haynie would not confirm if Massimino will coach the men's team, saying only that his position would be "more than managing."
"He will be a hands on guy," Haynie told The Associated Press by phone from Michigan. "He doesn't miss management, he misses coaching."
Northwood is in the process of building its men's and women's basketball programs, which are to begin play in 2006. It was the idea of building a team from scratch that appealed to Massimino.
"We're very pleased," Haynie said. "He likes this idea of building something new. I consider it to be a jump start. He can do in a very short period of time, what it could take us years to do."
Massimino hasn't coached since he left Cleveland State after the 2002-03 season. A 30-year coaching veteran, Massimino is 516-391 in stops at Stony Brook, Villanova, UNLV and Cleveland State.
Haynie said the school hopes to name coaches for the two teams by this summer, so the school can begin recruiting.
Massimino was drawn to the job by Northwood's athletic director and baseball coach Rick Smoliak, who coached baseball at Stony Brook during Massimino's tenure there.
"When Rick discovered through a newspaper article that Rollie had moved to Jupiter, he gave him a call and asked him down to the school," Haynie said. "After they were reacquainted, he asked him to help build these basketball teams.
"He missed the kids and really saw the opportunity to build a program from the start."
Massimino was 357-241 with 11 NCAA Tournament appearances at Villanova, which he led to a shocking 66-64 upset of defending champ Georgetown in the 1985 final. It is one of the biggest upsets in NCAA history.
After leaving Villanova, Massimino coached two years at UNLV, going 36-21, and seven years at Cleveland State, where he was 90-113.
Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press
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