News surfaced on Saturday evening of the passing of one of college basketball’s most legendary coaching icons.
Rick Majerus, who stepped away from his position at Saint Louis just this past fall, has died. He was 64.
Majerus’ coaching career spanned five decades and is one that will undoubtedly go down in history. During his time on the bench, Majerus compiled a total of 517 wins at Saint Louis, Utah, Ball State, and Marquette.
Prior to the start of the 1983-84 season, Majerus took over the reigns at Marquette, coaching the Golden Eagles for three seasons, totaling up 56 wins and three appearances in the NIT during that span. He then left for an assistant coaching position in the NBA before returning to the college ranks at Ball State in 1987.
Majerus won 43 games in two seasons at Ball State, advancing to his first NCAA Tournament in 1989. That’s when Utah came calling.
In 15 seasons at Utah, Majerus totaled 238 wins, building a power out west in the 1990s. Under Majerus, the Utes advanced to ten NCAA Tournaments, including four Sweet 16s and one trip to the National Championship in 1998.
Following the 2003-04 season, Majerus stepped away from coaching, but only to return as the head man at Saint Louis in 2007. Just last season, Majerus lead the Billikens to the NCAA Tournament, their first since 2000. Saint Louis was eliminated from the field in the Round of 32, ironically enough a game that marked the final contest in Majerus’ career.
Throughout his time on the sidelines, Majerus battled several health issues, most recently the one that forced him away from his position just a few months ago. The issues surrounding his health dealt with heart problems. The school had officially announced that Majerus would not return to the university back on Nov. 19.
The sad news comes as a bit of shock given its timing, but the legendary career that Majerus leaves behind in the game of college basketball is one for the history books.
Rest in Peace, Coach Rick Majerus.
Paul Seaver is the College Basketball Network Manager at Rant Sports. You can follow him on Twitter: @PaulSeaverRS