Lappas graduated from Bronx High School of Science in 1972, where he was sixth man on its 1971 city championship team and a starter as a prep senior. He went on to the, where he was a three-year letterwinner in basketball and served as the team"s captain in his junior season. He graduated in 1977 with a bachelor"s degree in primary education.
He coached at Manhattan (1988–1992), Villanova (1992–2001) and UMass (2001–2005), compiling a 280-237 (542) record over a 17-year coaching career. He is currently a basketball color commentator and studio analyst for Columbia Broadcasting System Sports Network. Education Coaching career In 1977, Lappas started coaching at York (New York) College as a volunteer, and moved to Fort Lee High School the next year, becoming an assistant.
After one season, he assumed his first head coaching job with Truman High School (in The Bronx), staying there through 1984.
In 1984 Lappas joined Rollie Massimino"s staff at Villanova University. = Head coach In 1988 Lappas became head coach at Manhattan College, where he turned around the program from a 7–21 season in 1988-1989 to a 25–9 season and a berth to the 3rd round of the National Institute of Technology in 1992.
In 1992, he succeeded Rollie Massimino as head coach at Villanova, where he guided the team to seven postseason tournament appearances (four National Collegiate Athletic Association, three National Institute of Technology), posting an 8–6 record and winning the 1994 National Invitation Tournament. In 2001, he resigned as head coach after Villanova declined to sign him for a long term contract due to multiple years of poor recruiting, and a subsequent lack of success in the postseason.
He became head coach of the University of Massachusetts on March 26, 2001.
In four seasons at UMass, the Minutemen struggled under Lappas, and finished with a record of 50–65. His contract was not renewed and he was let go on March 14, 2005.
Married Harriet Lappas. Children: Kristen, Peter.