Palm Beach News

Can't. Stop. Coaching.

You've got college coaches like Joe Paterno and Bobby Bowden whose longevity is equal parts genius and ego -- they stay as coach in part because they can't bear to give control to someone else. Then you have coaches like Rollie Massimino, who won a national championship at Villanova in 1985 and whose toils in obscurity have taken him to Northwoods University in West Palm Beach. This after being nudged out of another small-time program, Cleveland State University.

At the time the school's athletic director made the pitch to Massimino, it had neither a gymnasium nor a team.

How can you not admire Massimino? Sure, he's had a few off-court controversies -- an illegal salary bump at UNLV precipitated his departure from that program. But he obviously loves competition. He obviously loves to coach young people. He joins Howard Schnellenberger as South Florida coaching legends who have reached the pinnacle of their sport but are still compelled to pick up the whistle, even after the limelight is long gone.

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Thomas Francis