A little after 7 p.m. on Saturday, word began to float on Twitter that Rick Majerus, 64, former Marquette head coach and brilliant basketball mind, had passed away.
Majerus tried out for the Marquette basketball team in 1967, was cut hissophomore season, but then asked to stay on as a student assistant after coaching at Marquette High School.
Majerus would be hired for $5,000 for nine months coached under Al McGuire and Hank Raymonds before finally becoming a full time assistant in the 70s,helping to lead Marquette to two Final Fours and the National Championship in 1977 before becoming the head coach in 1983.
“The best professors I had in college were Raymonds and McGuire,” Majerus said in “Tales from the Marquette Hardwood.”
His stay at Marquette would only last three years, leaving the position to be an NBA assistant to Don Nelson for the Milwaukee Bucks in 1986.
“You don’t want to be a head coach where you grew up as an assistant,” Majerus said. “I shouldn’t have gotten hired … It was almost too incestuous.”
From the Bucks Majerus would move on to coach at Ball State for three seasons in 1987, finishing with a 43-17 record before moving on to coach at Utah, where he thrived to the tune of 323 wins. Majerus left the Utes in 2004, but had reached the Final Four in 1998, making the championship game before falling to Kentucky.
After a stint as an NBA analyst, Majerus coached at St. Louis from 2007 until earlier this year when he had to step down because of health complications, having led the Bilikens to the round of 32 in the 2012 NCAA Tournament.
“I wouldn’t change anything in my career,” Majerus said. “I loved my time at Marquette. There isn’t anything I wouldn’t do for them.”