Dec 1, 2012, 8:35 PM EST
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.
RIP to my friend and mentor Coach Majerus. I learned so much about the game and life. We lost a One of the best! My heart is heavy tonight.
— Porter Moser (@PorterMoser) December 2, 2012
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.
- Bronson Koenig, Duje Dukan step forward in No. 2 Wisconsin’s win over Georgetown 0
- St. John’s seniors say they ‘grew up’ against Minnesota, but have they? 1
- The little things made a big difference in No. 3 Arizona’s win over No. 15 San Diego State 0
- Butler upsets No. 5 North Carolina in Battle 4 Atlantis opener 2
- If No. 12 Villanova doesn’t have a star on their roster, no one told JayVaughn Pinkston 0
- JayVaughn Pinkston’s block gives No. 12 Villanova a win over No. 19 Michigan (VIDEO) 2
- Maryland upsets No. 13 Iowa State as fearless freshmen mix with gritty veterans for balanced effort 3
- Villanova’s win is evidence of why VCU may have peaked as a basketball program (14)
- Rick Pitino on blow out win: ‘We played four white guys and an Egyptian’ (14)
- Michigan’s John Beilein rips ESPN for late tip time during Tuesday’s loss (13)
- College Basketball Talk’s latest top 25: Kentucky reigns, but how far will Kansas, Florida slide? (5)
- Penn State unveils new uniforms for next two games (5)