Comments about ‘Former Utah Utes coach Rick Majerus dead from heart problems at age 64’

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Published: Saturday, Dec. 1 2012 7:35 p.m. MST

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Santa Monica, CA

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.


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.

Idaho Falls, ID

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.

Qwest Perfected
Salt Lake City, UT

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.

Palmdale, CA

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!

Bountiful, UT

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.

Salt Lake City, UT

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.

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