Massimino to Enter Philadelphia Big Five Hall of Fame
Aug. 17, 2009
The Philadelphia Big 5, celebrating its 55th season, will induct three coaching legends into its Hall of Fame in 2010: Temple's John Chaney, Villanova's Rollie Massimino, and La Salle's William "Speedy" Morris. The date and site for the 2010 induction ceremony and information about 55th anniversary events for the Big 5 will be announced in the coming weeks.
The three coaches, with a combined 58 seasons as head coaches in Big 5 play, were each key figures in the evolution of the city series to a storied college basketball tradition. Since 1955, the teams from La Salle, Penn, Saint Joseph's, Temple and Villanova have been meeting annually to determine Philadelphia's basketball bragging rights. Starting in 1973, the Big 5 also has been selecting players, coaches, broadcasters, sportswriters and others who have made significant contributions to the series and its history to become members of the Big 5 Hall of Fame.
Chaney, 77, spent 10 seasons building Philadelphia's Cheyney State (now Cheyney University) into a Division II power before taking the helm at Temple for the 1982-83 season. In his 24 years with the Owls, Chaney led Temple to 17 NCAA Tournament appearances and five regional finals. Known as a great educator and a fiery, inspirational leader, Chaney and his teams became regarded for their discipline, teamwork and defense. He finished his college coaching career with 741 wins, including a record of 516-253 at Temple. Chaney twice was national coach of the year and was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2001.
Massimino, 74, was an assistant to Chuck Daly at Penn in the 1972-73 season before
commencing a remarkable 19-season career as Villanova's head coach from 1973-92. As the leader of the Wildcats, Massimino led the program into the new Big East Conference in 1980 and oversaw Villanova's subsequent transformation to a national power. Villanova made the NCAA Tournament 11 times under Massimino, including the famed 1985 national championship upset of Georgetown as well as four other trips to the elite eight. Overall, Massimino compiled a record of 357-241 (.596) at Villanova.
Morris, 67, was the head coach at La Salle for 15 seasons from 1986-2001. In his first year at La Salle he led the Explorers to a 20-13 record and the NIT final. From there it was more success with MAAC titles and NCAA appearances in each of the next three seasons, culminating with a 30-2 campaign in 1989-90 that produced the national player of the year, Lionel Simmons. La Salle made the NIT the following season before claiming another MAAC title and NCAA bid in the 1991-92 season, completing a run of six straight postseason berths. In all, Morris would go on to finish with 238 wins at La Salle, the most in school history.
For more information about the Big 5 Hall of Fame events, this year's inductees, or to RSVP, contact the Philadelphia Big 5 at 215-898-4747 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.