Ailing Majerus dies of heart failure
TribLIVE Sports Videos
LOS ANGELES — Rick Majerus, the jovial college basketball coach who led Utah to the 1998 NCAA final and had only one losing season in 25 years with four schools, died Saturday. He was 64.
Utah industrialist Jon Huntsman, the coach's longtime friend, confirmed in a statement released through The Salt Lake Tribune that Majerus died of heart failure in a Los Angeles hospital.
Majerus said Nov. 19 that he wouldn't return to Saint Louis because of the heart condition. He ended the school's 12-year NCAA tournament drought last season with a 26-win team that won its opening game and took top regional seed Michigan State to the wire. The Billikens were ranked for the first time since 1994-95.
Majerus was undergoing evaluation and treatment in California for the ongoing heart trouble, and the school announced he was on leave in late August.
Pitt coach Jamie Dixon learned about Majerus' death after Pitt's 74-61 win over Detroit. He and Majerus were close, and he knew Majerus hadn't been doing well. Dixon said he and former Pitt coach Ben Howland, now at UCLA, were Majerus proteges.
“Pretty much everything we do is based on stuff we learned from him,” Dixon said. “It was tough to hear.”
Majerus had a history of heart problems dating to 1989. He had a stent inserted in August 2011 in Salt Lake City and missed games in the 2011-12 season after gashing his leg in a collision with players.
Majerus was 95-69 in five seasons at Saint Louis and had a 25-year record of 517-216. He had his most success at Utah, going 323-95 from 1989-2004. He was at Marquette from 1983-86 and Ball State from 1987-89.
He took 12 teams to the NCAA tournament and four to the NIT, with the 1998 Utah team losing to Kentucky in the NCAA championship game.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pens get physical, trade Goc for Blues’ Lapierre
- Penguins notebook: Crosby understands NHL’s reasoning for ban
- Letang produces 5 assists in return as Penguins defeat Jets, 5-3
- Pirates trade Snider to Orioles for minor league pitcher
- No cross-checking here: Penguins misspell ‘Sidney’
- Wilkinsburg man killed in his apartment
- Chartiers Valley displays shooting touch in blowout win over USC
- Pittsburgh to consider measure to give city employees 6 weeks of paid parental leave
- Now a Patriot, RB Blount’s thrilled to have moved on from Steelers
- Winfield man is one of a few to attend all 49 Super Bowl games
- Panthers drop heartbreaker in overtime to Virginia Tech