Jim Bolla, the most successful women’s basketball coach in UNLV history who led the team to the NCAA Tournament 7 times, passed away on Friday night after a protracted illness. Let’s see how did Jim Bolla die and Jim Bolla cause of death in detail.
How did Jim Bolla die?
Jim Bolla, who coached women’s basketball at UNLV from 1982 to 1996, endured seven hours of intense stomach cramps before deciding to go to the medical center in August 2017. That would start a journey that ultimately revealed he had a small intestine carcinoid tumor that had spread to his liver and was so invasive that doctors were unable to remove it. The doctor described the area and spots surrounding the tumor as looking like “a piece of meat that looked like someone had sprinkled pepper all over it.”
Bolla underwent a triple bypass on his failing heart, which had been giving him problems for years, three months after receiving the cancer diagnosis and after he dropped from 245 pounds to 195.
Instead, a four-hour procedure that required six bypasses and the closure of a hole, and the repair of a valve took eight hours to complete.
After being told by doctors that his heart had been temporarily repaired, Bolla awoke and began talking about attacking the tumor. “To me, this is no different than blowing out a knee,” he said. “The doctors perform their duties, and I follow suit. I could feel sorry for myself and the baby myself, but that’s not me. “I want to kick this thing’s ass.”, Bolla said in an interview.
At the age of 70, he passed away on October 21, 2022, in the evening. Cancer was Jim Bolla cause of death.
Jim Bolla cause of death
At the age of 70, Jim Bolla passed away on October 21, 2022, in the evening. Jim Bolla’s cause of death was cancer. Bolla was diagnosed with cancer in August 2017 after visiting an emergency room. Carcinoid tumors began in the small intestine and spread to the liver.
The tumor could not be removed by the surgeons. Jim Bolla flew from his Las Vegas residence to UCLA for regular treatments between his oncologist at UCLA and his cardiac physicians in Las Vegas. He said in the interview, “Cancer has no idea who it messed with this time.”
Jim Bolla career
Bolla started his coaching career from 1975 to 1977 as an assistant coach for the Pittsburgh men’s basketball team. From 1982 to 1996, Bolla had a 300–120 record, arguably the most victories in program history.
Between 1982 and 1988, Bolla coached together with his former Sheila Strike-Bolla. Over those six seasons, the Lady Rebels took part in three NCAA Tournaments and one Women’s National Invitation Tournament.
Bolla received three Big West Coach of the Year awards.
Before being promoted to share the head coaching duties, he spent one season as an interim coach in Las Vegas after moving there from his hometown of Pittsburgh in 1981. He participated in the University of Pittsburgh’s basketball team. He started at center for the Panthers when they reached the Elite Eight in 1974.
Bolla remained at Pitt and graduated as an assistant coach for the men’s team from 1976 to 1971 before switching to the women’s team.
From 1982 to 1996, he had a 300–120 record, arguably the most victories in program history. From 2009 through 2020, Kathy Olivier won 182 matches. The only other coach to have won more games at UNLV than Bolla (71.4%) was Dan Ayala (82.5%) from 1975 to 1980. Under Bolla, UNLV won five conference tournament titles in addition to four regular-season Big West titles.
After finishing his coaching career at UNLV, he transitioned into the athletic department’s administrative ranks and served as the development director there until 2001. Bolla made a coaching comeback in 2004 at the University of Hawaii, where he spent five seasons and amassed a 64-80 record.
Dallas, his wife, started working as a coach in 2008. She has experience as a coach, and between 1998 and 2003, she guided Long Beach State to three Big West tournament title games. Their daughter Sasha, who is now a junior at DePaul University, was a standout volleyball player at Coronado High School.
Tributes to Jim Bolla:
Coaches Corner Las Vegas posted,
I am saddened to report that my very best friend Jim Bolla has passed away. I was honored to
Be on the air with him and be a great friend over
The last 20 years. We shared Heart stories as we both had major 5 artery replacements. I cannot explain how well he treated me since I met him in Hawaii when he was a coach there. Tremendous guy and has so much knowledge of Vegas and Hawaii hence why we hit it off so well. May god bless you coach and I promise we will all miss you here! A job well-done sir at every level!
Much love to my brother and friend, coach Jim Bolla and family!
Scott Gulbransen tweeted,
The impact Jim Bolla had on the lives around him is immeasurable. Even my kids are devastated as he even taught them and found ways to encourage them. Generations are better due to one man. He won hoops games but this is his legacy…making lives better.
Dave Cokin posted,
Sad to hear that Jim Bolla passed away this evening. Put UNLV Lady Rebels on the map. a Terrific guy and he sure fought a good fight against cancer. Adios Coach, you’ll be missed.
Kalin S. tweeted,
RIP Coach Jim Bolla. You fought until the very end until your body couldn’t fight anymore. I will forever be grateful that I had the honor to know and work with you. You were a great friend. May your memory forever live on and may you watch over us like the Angel you now are.
Joe Arrigo tweeted,
When I got the phone call yesterday evening about Coach Jim Bolla passing away, my heart broke. When he would call, I would pick him up. He was special. He was one of the nicest people I met, with a passion for sports and young people, but especially for UNLV and his family.
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