Posted: Dec 1, 2012 8:45 PM by CBS Sports
Rick Majerus, the colorful coach who took Utah to a Final Four and also was very successful at Marquette, Ball State and Saint Louis University, died Saturday at 64, according to multiple reports.
USA Today is among the outlets now reporting Majerus' death. The news was first released via Porter Moser, current Loyola (IL) basketball coach and former Majerus assistant at Saint Louis.
Another former Majerus assistant, current Nebraska assistant coach Chris Harriman, told CBSSports.com Majerus died at 3:30 p.m. local time at a California hospital.
Majerus was forced to definitively leave his final coaching stop in November, when his health dictated he wouldn't be able to return after initially only stepping down with the hopes of a one-year hiatus. His death stems from health issues dealing specifically with a failing heart. He lived with heart problems for more than two decades, dating back to 1989, when he had his first surgical procedure.
Majerus' career ended last season with a 517-216 record, a 95-69 mark in his five final years in the profession at Saint Louis. He took the Billikens to their first NCAA tournament in 12 years when they made last season's NCAAs, and the team's Round of 64 win over Memphis was its first NCAA tournament victory in 14 years.
Majerus was a man extremely well-respected in the industry, someone considered one of the brightest basketball minds of the current or any era. He coached Utah to one of its two national title-game appearances, which came in 1998 against the University of Kentucky.
The first retirement for Majerus came when he left Utah in 2004. He then briefly took a job with USC in December of that year before stepping away five days later. Majerus coached in college basketball dating back to 1971, when he was hired at his alma mater by his mentor, legendary Marquette coach, the late Al McGuire.