Former Pitt Basketball Player, Assistant Coach Jim Bolla Dies
On Friday, former Pitt basketball player and assistant coach Jim Bolla passed away due to an illness at the age of 70.
Bolla was a member of the Pitt basketball team from 1971-75, starting as a center on Pitt’s 1974 Elite Eight squad. Following his playing career at Pitt, Bolla stayed within the program and served as an assistant coach for the men’s team (1976-79) and later for the women’s team (1979-80).
Bolla then went on to coach at UNLV, first as an assistant on the women’s basketball staff and eventually taking over as head coach of the women’s team. He won 300 games, finishing his career with a 300-120 record as head coach. Bolla won Big West Coach of the Year three times and led his teams to seven NCAA Tournament appearances. He retired as the winningest head coach in UNLV women’s basketball history.
Remembered him from the ‘73-‘74 team. Right guy for the middle of the Ameoba defense. RIP.
Use to go to all the Pitt home games as a kid in this era. Sad to see a player from these Buzz Ridl coached teams pass away. The ’74 team with Jim Bolla at Center was one of Pitt’s best teams ever….winning 22 straight games and reaching the Elite 8. RiP