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Original Issue

Jack Kraft 1921--2014

Villanova's basketball program will always be defined by its NCAA tournament success under the colorful Rollie Massimino, who in 1985 coached the Wildcats to their only national title. But it was the more understated Jack Kraft, Villanova's coach from 1961 to '73, who brought the program to the national stage. In his 12 seasons with the Wildcats, Kraft, who died last Thursday at 93, had a .715 winning percentage, and in '71 he led the school to its first appearance in the NCAA championship game.

That run ended in heartache: The Wildcats lost to UCLA, and the NCAA later vacated Villanova's tournament wins after finding that Most Outstanding Player Howard Porter had signed an ABA contract while still in school. After leaving Villanova, Kraft coached for seven successful years at Rhode Island.