Former Utah Utes coach Rick Majerus dead from heart problems at age 64


Return To Article
  • Ufan Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 3, 2012 10:15 a.m.

    It's sad to think that Rick will never coach another basketball game.

    Great coach; enigmatic personality; mixed opinions on how he treated his players.

  • UteUteUte Bountiful, UT
    Dec. 3, 2012 1:01 a.m.

    Brought me to a pause yesterday. Such memories! Going to home games during my college years was so memorable. I had front row tickets through the 6th Fan Club for 3 straight years. Front Row!
    It was awesome to watch the man defense our teams played. Opponents would end up just going one on one because they could not run their offense. Rarely did we give up easy buckets. The best opposing player was almost always taken out of his game. There was no better coach at half court defense and rebounding. Plus the motion offense was the essence of team ball. Amazing.
    Remember the battles with the Lobos and Cougars? Nearly always epic. (If you think Bronco and Kyle aren't friends, you never saw Reid and Majerus.) Yet, we were the only WAC team that could advance through rounds in the NCAA tourney. When he had time to prepare...
    Read his book. Read Allred's book. Such a complex character. No doubt, he was hard for the athletic dept to control. No doubt, he had players who disliked him. Most of us were not on the inside to know his true character, but he was an amazing coach.

  • AntelopeValleyUte Palmdale, CA
    Dec. 2, 2012 7:41 p.m.

    God bless and rest in peach Coach Majerus! The thing that I will remember the most about him as a coach was taking the Runnin Utes to the 1998 NCAA Final Four, beating Arizona and North Carolina, but finally losing to Kentucky in the championship game. Thanks for putting the Utah basketball program on the map!

  • Qwest Perfected Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 2, 2012 4:35 p.m.

    Majerus was the best coach the Utes have ever seen. He knew the game better than almost anyone else in the game. He coached his players literally to specific inches on the floor. He was a genius when it came to the X's and O's of basketball. He could be abrasive but he also got the most out of his players and had a very charitable side as well.

    No doubt Rick will also be remembered for his sense of humor. The man was full of one liners and was always up for making himself the butt of the joke. One of my favorite quotes was after losing to Kentucky in the NCAA final, the Utes had lost to them in the tournament the previous two years as well and Rick said "They should burry me at the finish line of Churchill Downs so they can keep running over me." He somehow took the loss on himself after getting a team to the finals that nobody gave a chance to.

    Quite an amazing man indeed and he will be forever missed. Naming the court after him or retiring his sweater would be a great tribute.

  • idablu Idaho Falls, ID
    Dec. 2, 2012 2:46 p.m.

    He put Utah basketball on the map. Truly amazing coach. Got the best out of his talent which resulted in recruiting even better talent. Personality issues aside he was successful at consistently putting out a great basketball team almost every year of his tenure at the U.

  • nosaerfoecioveht NSL, UT
    Dec. 2, 2012 11:27 a.m.

    I'll never forget all those seasons sitting in the family seats as a kid. Never missed a game at Huntsman. Watching Van Horn, Doleac, Andre Miller, but most especially just watching Majerus pick teams apart. It was always a chess match, and we always knew we were going to win. Majerus was the master.

  • xert Santa Monica, CA
    Dec. 2, 2012 10:45 a.m.

    I once heard Keith Van Horn say, "Some of the coaches lessons are for now and some are for later on in life."
    He had his flaws, as "some" of us do, but I have never seen a better basketball coach or teacher of the game. I also remember saying hi to him when he was jogging down Montana Ave in Santa Monica. He stopped, shook hands with me and invited me to an alumni function.
    I will never forget the time he put his career on the line during the NCAA tourney, when one of his players (Britton Johnsen) was accused of yelling a racist slur at a UNC player. "This is a good kid and he didn't say this. If I'm wrong, I'll retire." The Johnsen's probably remember this.
    And funny? My favorite Majerus line was when they asked him if he had learned anything after his heart surgery and he made mention of the rib place on 4th South that was made out of a railroad car. "I learned that when I go to the choo choo train, I can have some of the ribs, but not ALL of the ribs.

  • Go Big Blue!!! Bountiful, UT
    Dec. 2, 2012 9:40 a.m.

    Basketball Genius. Jedi master of the court. Desciple of the hardwood.

    Majerus understood and saw things on the court better than anyone. He has been missed for a long long time.

  • Civil Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 2, 2012 5:53 a.m.


    He knew his X's, his O's and a few Cyrillic characters as well. Dude could coach.

  • Rockarolla West Jordan, UT
    Dec. 2, 2012 2:49 a.m.

    what a sad day it is.

  • Rational Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 2, 2012 2:06 a.m.

    Unmatched at X's and O's.

    I was begging him through the TV screen to give Andre Miller a rest during the second half of the Kentucky game. Andre and the Utes ran out of gas, and the Utes took second. As a BYU fan I would've had to listen to Ute trolls brag endlessly (as opposed to Ute FANS whom I would've celebrated with and for), yet I still wish the Utes would've won that game.

  • utahcountyute Cedar Hills, UT
    Dec. 2, 2012 12:13 a.m.

    Very sad news. I was in school at the U during those very best years. He squeezed out every bit of talent from kids and got them to play their absolute best. Unfortunately, there won't be any one quite like him again.

    Thanks coach.

  • The Vanka Provo, UT
    Dec. 1, 2012 11:57 p.m.

    A great coach in a great game, Big Rick will be missed. Thank you for all you gave to the sport, the players, and the community.

    Syllypitiria. Zoi se mas.

  • ImaUteFan West Jordan, UT
    Dec. 1, 2012 11:29 p.m.

    Larger than life, one of a kind coach. The run to the National Championship was masterful, it was indeed epic.

    Thanks for the memories, Coach Majerus.

  • brooks Park City, UT
    Dec. 1, 2012 11:04 p.m.

    Shocking to hear coach Majerus has passed. He coached when I was a student at the U. Awesome memories of going to games. Utah basketball was amazing. RIP coach.

  • Uteology East Salt Lake City, Utah
    Dec. 1, 2012 10:47 p.m.


    I'll always cherish the 1998 run. With lesser talent rolling over defending champion Arizona, downing UNC, and at the end running out of gas against Kentucky.

  • Unbelievable West Jordan, Utah
    Dec. 1, 2012 9:54 p.m.

    Truly one of the great ones in the coaching profession. As a devoted Y fan, like Urban Meyer, I was thrilled to see him leave Dodge. Some people just have the 'it' factor and Coach was one of them, for absolUTE!

  • Real Bass Idaho Falls, ID
    Dec. 1, 2012 9:41 p.m.

    Great coach. As a BYU fan, I was glad to see him leave, but hate to see him check out this way. I am sure he will be remembered with fondness and respect on the hill.

  • eagle Provo, UT
    Dec. 1, 2012 9:15 p.m.

    Great coach, complex personality. He will be missed.

    Dec. 1, 2012 9:01 p.m.

    Never met Rick personally, but I know a few people who were quite close with him while he was in Utah, and I gotta say that the basketball world lost a great one today. Very abrasive and demanding of his players, and many players have undoubtedly held it against him for years, but in the big picture, he pushed and demanded so much because he expected and hoped for greatness for them all.

    Some guys got it, some guys didn't, but I know if you asked Keith Van Horn, Michael Doleac, Andre Miller or the like, they have to be devastated almost as if they lost their own father. From what I understand, when the NCAA imposed sanctions on the University in the late 90s, one of the cited violations was an impermissible meal given to Van Horn after Keith's father passed away and Coach took him to a diner and sat and ate and talked with him all night.

    Certainly not without his faults, and not entirely surprising given his weight and health over the years, but it definitely doesn't take away from his accomplishments on the court, and more importantly in his players' lives.

  • Two For Flinching Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 1, 2012 8:59 p.m.

    I have amazing memories of going to games with my dad when I was a kid, and that is in part thanks to Coach Majerus.

    I second the idea of retiring the sweater. That thing should be hung from the rafters.

  • gdog3finally West Jordan, Utah
    Dec. 1, 2012 8:49 p.m.

    As time passes in Utah basketball and the years get further removed from Rick's tenure, it's easy to forget what Majerus accomplished at Utah. The legacy of Utah basketball, which Majerus was a huge part of often gets lost as well, especially during the down times of late in Utah hoops. But Rick Majerus produced huge success and brought national attention to the Ute program before Utah football took off.

    I remember the Rick years as being epic. He took over the program when I was 18 years old and left in 2004 when I was 34. I have great memories of those years in Utah basketball.

    Majerus was a complicated man who was troubled within his genius. His troubles are gone now and I choose to remember and honor the man as Utah man sir.

    God bless Rick Majerus.

  • RockOn Spanish Fork, UT
    Dec. 1, 2012 8:33 p.m.

    Shocked. Shouldn't be, but it's still a shock. Loved the days when he was getting the most of the Utes even against my Cougars. Excellent coach and may he rest in peace.

  • jdub1942 PROVO, UT
    Dec. 1, 2012 8:28 p.m.

    This is very sad, being young when he coached here I didn't realize how much he did for the state and the university of utah, R rest In Peace.

  • Ute66 Centerville, UT
    Dec. 1, 2012 7:59 p.m.

    Although not surprising, this is sad news. I got to know Rick over the years when I coached high school and college basketball locally. I worked at his summer basketball camp for 13 years, and saw many sides of Rick. Every summer, at the end of each week of basketball camp, he would talk about how much he missed his late father. He always thanked me personally for working at his camp. I know that Rick had many flaws, but he also did a lot of good for a lot of people. He was complex, indeed. I have still never met anyone who knew basketball like he did. He had a brilliant basketball mind. A lot of people might think Rick wasn't fond of the LDS Church, but he loved the returned missionaries he coached, admiring their discipline and toughness. I also remember Rick taking the microphone at a home game right after President Howard W. Hunter died, and having a moment of silence for him. Rest In Peace, Coach.

  • 86&90UTE Holladay, UT
    Dec. 1, 2012 7:56 p.m.

    Thanks, Rick, for all you did for the U. The run in the big dance in 1998 was epic!! Rest in peace......

  • motorbike Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Dec. 1, 2012 7:50 p.m.

    This is a sad, sad day. I spent a year under Majerus and it was one of the best experiences of my life.
    Wherever you are big Rick, thank you for all you did for Utah basketball and for the student athletes. We'll miss you but we'll never forget you.
    Message to Chris Hill; retire the sweater ASAP and name the court 'Rick Majerus Court'.
    Rest in peace Rick.