Former college basketball coach Rick Majerus died over the weekend from heart complications. He was 64.
Majerus coached St. Louis University in his last stop. The heart condition forced him to walk away from the 2012-13 season. He also coached Utah, Ball State and Marquette, but his health always seemed to be a major factor.
But Majerus was a college basketball gift. He displayed humor, crustiness and frankness. Sportswriters and broadcasters loved the guy because he was very quotable. The guy knew basketball and he knew how to coach it.
Majerus didn’t seem to find peace in one particular coaching job. I don’t know if the press or Majerus himself would start rumors about his potential candidacy at another school. His name kept popping up for openings.
I will always remember Majerus for his competitive nature. I saw it first hand one night in Ames, Iowa when Majerus brought his Marquette team to play Iowa State in the National Invitation Tournament (NIT). The coach became agitated with a call or calls that went against Marquette. The official gave Majerus one technical, then two technicals and then three technicals in a span of about 30 seconds. Majerus was kicked out of the game, but refused to leave. Police then escorted him off the floor, but not before he wanted to charge the referee who gave him the three technicals. Majerus was restrained and Marquette went on to win the game without its coach.