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Former SLU, Utah coach Rick Majerus dead at 64

Dec 1, 2012, 8:35 PM EDT

NCAA Basketball Tournament - St Louis v Michigan State Getty Images

When Rick Majerus decided to take a leave of absence at the beginning of the 2012-13 season for health reasons, the news was concerning.

When he announced he wasn’t coming back to the Billikens at all, it was alarming.

Now the true extent of Majerus’ health issues has become known. Multiple sources, including Majerus protege and current Loyola (Chicago) head coach Porter Moser, have confirmed that Majerus passed away today at the age of 64.

USA Today confirmed the news with Majerus’ girlfriend, Angie Kvidera.

The Chicago Tribune spoke with Moser after the news began to circulate, and the former Majerus protege praised his former boss’ preparation and tactical skill:

“No one saw the game like he saw it,” said Loyola coach Porter Moser, a protege and former Majerus assistant at Saint Louis. “All of the people who will be talking about him, they didn’t have the luxury of being in a room filled with dry erase boards and preparing for a game with Rick Majerus, watching him dissect how we’re going to stop an opponent. He was a basketball guy through and through.”

St. Louis Tribune writer Bernie Miklasz penned a heartfelt ode to a friend.

Majerus began his career with the then-independent Marquette Warriors, and jumped to Ball State after three years in Milwaukee. He became best known as head man of the Utah Utes, making it all the way to the NCAA title game in 1998. He led St. Louis to a 26-8 record and an NCAA berth in his final season as Billikens head coach.

Majerus’ overall record as a collegiate head coach was 517-215.

Majerus faced heart problems early in his career, coaching just six games in his first season at Utah before undergoing bypass surgery in 1989. Another bout of heart trouble put him in the hospital in 2004, when he retired at Utah. He returned to college coaching at St. Louis in 2007, after a stint as a television commentator.

Majerus was one of the funniest coaches the sport has ever known, as a collection of his best-known quotes will attest.

He will be missed.

  1. thegamecocker - Dec 1, 2012 at 9:32 PM

    Rick Majerus will sorely be missed. He was a good guy who learned much from Al McGuire. Terrific coach and a better person.

    • berbes - Dec 2, 2012 at 1:13 AM

      there’s always one or two that feel the need to ‘thumbs down’ a kind word for the dead. i’m guessing the better part of them ran down mommies leg.

  2. jimbo75025 - Dec 1, 2012 at 10:02 PM

    Condolences to the family.

    Majerus always seemed like one of those guys you would love to have at your barbecue. Funny as hell

  3. jiggy3198 - Dec 1, 2012 at 10:10 PM

    RIP my friend

  4. blackmike2 - Dec 1, 2012 at 10:12 PM

    agreed jimbo, he was a really funny guy. that didn’t keep him from being a great hoops coach. i remember when he first came to utah and won with what was little more than a good intramural team. that helped him to recruit better players, and he did a lot with them.

    you can always look up his career numbers, but the link in the next to the last paragraph will take you to a good link of some of his quips. real gems, they barely scratched the surface.

    r.i.p., coach, you were an original.

  5. sbusparkman - Dec 1, 2012 at 10:19 PM

    he probably shoulda laid off the barbeque

  6. boyshole25 - Dec 1, 2012 at 11:54 PM

    Hilarious sound bites always

  7. mungman69 - Dec 2, 2012 at 12:51 AM

    Great coach, great guy.

  8. berbes - Dec 2, 2012 at 1:14 AM

    always a GREAT interview.

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