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
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
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