University of Utah to honor former head basketball coach Rick Majerus

Published: Tuesday, Dec. 4 2012 8:04 a.m. MST

Time, however, ran out before it could happen. Majerus died in Los Angeles while reportedly awaiting a heart transplant.

“We’re going to try to carry on here,” Krystkowiak said. “We weren’t able to bring Rick back here for a special game, obviously, but his spirit is still in the building and I know we’re going to be motivated by it.”

Majerus’ death, he continued, is going to inspire the Utes and make them a better team in the long run. Krystkowiak said that he has a lot of respect for Majerus and how he approached every game as if it were his last.

“I know that he’s up there smiling knowing that he didn’t short change anybody along the way,” Krystkowiak said.

It’s a blueprint the second-year coach would like to emulate. Krystkowiak said that he is motivated and touched by Majerus’ ability and accomplishments.

“I’m going to try to be like Rick,” Krystkowiak said. “I’m going to try to coach and live up to that standard that was set.”

Even though it's been more than eight years since Majerus left Utah, many folks continued to associate him with the Utes.

“I fly all over the country recruiting and doing various things and I’ll run into people with my Utah gear on and its unbelievable how many people want to know where Rick is. They remember,” Krystkowiak said. “ So he’s the prime character in the Utah basketball book. Really, if you think about Utah basketball, Rick Majerus is the first name that comes to mind. I have a lot of respect for Andrew Bogut and Andre Miller and Keith Van Horn and all those guys, but I’m sure they would agree with me that Rick Majerus is really a big part of the definition of Utah basketball."

Email: dirk@desnews.com

Twitter: @DirkFacer

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