March 24, 2001
Villanova, Pa. - Steve Lappas has resigned his position as head men's basketball coach at Villanova University, director of athletics Vince Nicastro announced today.
"Villanova regretfully accepts Coach Lappas' resignation," said Nicastro. "We are grateful for the 13 years of service Steve has provided Villanova, first as an assistant to coach Rollie Massimino, and as head coach for these past nine years. Steve's accomplishments here speak for themselves. I respect Steve as a person, a coach and an educator."
Lappas came to Villanova as an assistant coach in 1984 and in his first season was a part of the coaching staff that led the Wildcats to their only NCAA championship in 1985. In his four seasons as an aide to Massimino, Villanova was 87-53 (.621) and twice advanced to NCAA regional tournament championship games.
In 1992 Lappas returned to the Main Line after leading a successful revival as a head coach at Manhattan College. Lappas led Villanova to the 1994 National Invitation Tournament title, 1995 Big East Conference championship and the 1997 Big East regular season title. The Wildcats made four appearances in the NCAA Tournament under Lappas and were 174-110 (.613) in that span. Lappas led the school to its highest national ranking ever in 1995, when the 'Cats were ranked No. 2 in the Associated Press poll. He is sixth in all-time Big East Conference victories (96) and Villanova won 20 or more games six times in his stewardship.
"I am tremendously proud of our accomplishments at Villanova," said Lappas. "This was a difficult decision for my family and me to make. We are thankful for our time here."