Former Utah Utes coach Rick Majerus dead from heart problems at age 64
Throughout his tenure at Utah, Majerus suffered health problems. Just six games into his first season, Majerus underwent open-heart surgery for a seven-bypass operation and missed the rest of the season. Later he missed the 2000-01 season because of his poor health and in order to help his ailing mother in Wisconsin. Assistant coach Dick Hunsaker took over for the rest of the year.
The high point, which was also a low point for Majerus, was making it to the NCAA Finals in San Antonio in 1998. To get there, the Utes had to defeat defending national champion Arizona in the Western Regional final and No. 1 North Carolina in the semifinals.
In the finals against Kentucky, the Utes raced to a 41-31 halftime lead. However, they couldn't hold the lead and lost 78-69. For years after, Majerus lamented that loss, saying he often replayed it over in his mind.
He resigned on January 28, 2004 at the age of 55, two days after a loss at Air Force. He was reportedly suffering from chest pains and flew to California to see his cardiologist.
Less than four months later, Majerus took a job with ESPN-TV as an analyst. In December of 2004, Majerus resigned his ESPN position to take the head job at USC. However, just three days later he had a change of heart and returned to his job at ESPN.
Then in 2007, he was hired by Saint Louis, where he coached for five years before poor health forced the end of his coaching career.
Born: Feb. 17, 1948, Sheboygan, Wisconsin
Hired by Utah: April 3, 1989
Record at Utah: 323-95 (.776)
NCAA record at Utah: 17-10 (.629)
Prominent players coached by Majerus: Keith Van Horn, Andre Miller, Michael Doleac.
Resigned at Utah: Jan. 28, 2004
Overall coaching record: 517-215 (.706)
Overall NCAA appearances: 12
Since Utah: 3 years as ESPN analyst, 5 years as Saint Louis coach (95-69)
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