PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Thousands came to the campus of Villanova University Tuesday to pay respects to a man who became a legend in Philadelphia sports history.
A Mass of Christian burial was conducted inside the campus church for Rollie Massimino, who died Aug. 30 at the age of 82.
Tears and tributes flowed for the man who led Villanova basketball to its first national championship in 1985.
His son, Tom, spoke of his father’s final days battling cancer in hospice.
“He kept fighting, just like all of us knew he would. He held on until most of his family and current players came to say goodbye. He lived through the success of his players and family and they were the ones that had to let him go.”
Villanova’s current basketball coach Jay Wright, who sat on the bench for five years as Massimino’s assistant and later took the reins and led the team to a 2016 title, said Massimino taught everyone how to be loyal.
“Coach taught us most of all to be loyal, work hard and be loyal. Be on time and be loyal, always do the right thing, and be loyal. I don’t want to forget to stress that coach taught us to be loyal.”
Coach Rollie Massimino passed away after a battle with lung cancer.