Brad Rock: Rick Majerus left greatness — and some scars — with Ute Final Four team

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  • Mr. Boris Layton, UT
    Feb. 14, 2018 1:29 p.m.

    Big J,

    Didn't realize this article was about BYU but since you brought it up.

    The difference between the 1984 BYU national championship and the Ute 1998 final four team is the big championship trophy in the trophy case. There aint no championship trophy for 2nd place.

    The Utes should understand this since they will always be 2nd place in this state.

  • Big J Bountiful, UT
    Feb. 13, 2018 4:28 p.m.

    Though some may disagree... In my lifetime, the three greatest team sporting accomplishments all involved the University of Utah. One of those was led by Coach Rick Majerus in the 1997-1998 basketball season. I have the tape of the final and watch it now and again. Each watching, I wish Doleac had just a little more energy to make those "bunny's" down the stretch. With Rick, Utah always had a chance to win.

    Of course, the other two greatest accomplishments were the 2004 and 2008 Utah football teams. Sorry BYU fans, the 1984 BYU football team only makes fourth place… maybe fifth place after the 1994 Utah Gymnastic championship. Yea, fifth place seems right…

  • Howard S. Taylorsville, UT
    Feb. 13, 2018 10:04 a.m.

    @Tallredrider - Washington, UT

    Perhaps Rock owes an apology to players like Tallredrider for disparaging the coach that was tough, but helped them achieve greatness athletically, personally and academically.

    Your move Rock...

  • Tallredrider Washington, UT
    Feb. 13, 2018 8:40 a.m.

    As a former player, I don't have full confidence that the negative attitude Rock weaves is fully accurate. Reporters have a way of asking leading questions to get the story they want, and what Rock wanted here is obvious.

    As a grown man, I could look past the words spoken and understand the message. It took some maturity to play for him. I always knew that he was simply trying to get the most out of his players. It obviously didn't work for some, but the results speak for themselves. Off the court, his emphasis on personal and academic development was above and beyond what was expected, and those results also speak for themselves.

  • Whatsnu Sandy, UT
    Feb. 12, 2018 9:55 p.m.


    “Rick Majerus was a winner on the court, but a loser in life. He could not control what went into his mouth or what came out of his mouth. That's not opinion. That's fact.”

    Unfortunately, much of his success on the court, was overshadowed by his abuse of his players.

  • LoveLondon Murray, UT
    Feb. 12, 2018 11:20 a.m.

    Rick Majerus was a winner on the court, but a loser in life. He could not control what went into his mouth or what came out of his mouth. That's not opinion. That's fact.

  • USAlover Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 12, 2018 10:22 a.m.

    In summary: Rick Majerus was a jerk....and genius.

    Sad that these guys don't have fonder memories of him. They must have been very mentally tough to deal with his verbal abuse, which in today's society, would NOT be tolerated.

  • Howard S. Taylorsville, UT
    Feb. 12, 2018 7:42 a.m.

    @Realism337 - Draper UT

    The players interrupted their schedules to gather from across the country to celebrate the 20th anniversary of their final four run.
    Instead of focusing on their celebration, Rock hijacked the event to advance his personal vendetta against Majerus.

    Had the players gathered to disparage the memory of Big Rick, Rock’s coverage might have been appropriate. But they didn’t. And Rock is out of line to use their celebration to focus on Majerus’ shortcomings.
    While certainly not a perfect man, Rick achieved greatness and he helped many of his players do great things in their subsequent lives.

    Give it a rest Rock. Majerus is dead. He brought a moment of greatness to Utah... yet Rock refuses to move past his contempt for the man.

  • Realism337 Draper, UT
    Feb. 11, 2018 8:55 p.m.

    The fact that Majerus is dead is completely immaterial to how he is characterized in a news article. Brad Rock can report on his legacy any way he sees fit and onlookers can say whatever they want about him. There’s nothing sacred about Rick. By all indications, there is a sizable amount of people who think he was a horrible person. With that, who cares how many times he took the Utes to the NCAA tournament? Good or bad, he owns all of it. “…for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”

  • Impartial7 DRAPER, UT
    Feb. 11, 2018 7:13 p.m.

    Basketball coaching is tough, but Majerus made it more difficult. My relative was his assistant at SLU. He was previously a head coach at another college. Like all college coaches, he's a workaholic, used to long hours and a lot of time on the road recruiting. The thing they didn't like about coach Majerus was that he had nothing else but basketball. The others coaches all had families. Majerus lived on campus and he'd get a bee in his bonnet about something at 10 pm on a Sunday night. He'd call his assistants and expect them to be in the office in 30 minutes and might keep them until 2 am. He had no respect for their little time with their families. He took SLU to March Madness for the first time in 15 years. He was a brilliant coach, loved his kids, but was not a pleasant guy to work for.

  • rvalens2 Burley, ID
    Feb. 11, 2018 6:58 p.m.

    As with most people, there is always some good and bad. Rick Majerus had his faults but there is something unseemly about criticizing a man who isn't around to defend himself.

    I for one will never forget coach Rick Majerus.

  • Raider Fan Centerville, UT
    Feb. 11, 2018 4:56 p.m.

    I knew Rick Majerus fairly well as I was coaching college basketball in the late 90s locally. Rick was a complex personality for sure. He could be brutal on his players and assistant coaches. There is no denying that. He also could be extremely generous. I had a lot of interactions with him, and they were mostly positive. I want to set the record straight on a couple of things said by a previous poster. First of all, Rick was not anti-Mormon. He actively recruited returned missionaries, and anyone who knew him knew that he spoke highly of them. He loved their toughness, and was especially fond of Alex Jensen, who he often said was his favorite player ever. Also, when President Howard W. Hunter passed away in 1994, Rick personally grabbed the microphone at their next home game and held a moment of silence in honor of President Hunter. As far as coaching at California, he had already finished his time at Utah. His contract was not renewed after 2004, and I’m pretty sure that he didn’t try to go to Cal until well after that.

  • JP Skillet Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 11, 2018 4:46 p.m.

    freemale221g - he did not lie about his health OR anti-mormon. I knew him personally. you are simply trolling.

  • JohnInSLC Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 11, 2018 4:28 p.m.

    “the fact Majerus was very anti-mormon.”


    Fail! You are dead wrong.

    In a Sports Illustrated article published before that Final Four run, Majerus described, in his typically profane way, how much he appreciated the Mormons. While he was no believer, he very much admired those who practiced what they preached, and had no tolerance for those who were hypocrites.

  • srsmith ,
    Feb. 11, 2018 4:16 p.m.

    I’m a Utah fan and I always thought majerus was a joke. Personally I would have rather had fewer wins with a respectable coach who treated people the right way. In the world we live in most people will tolerate bad behavior if their team is winning.

    You can win and have a positive coach. There are plenty of examples.

  • at long last. . . Kirksville , MO
    Feb. 11, 2018 3:39 p.m.

    Brad, it is time for you to get over this obsession with Majerus and your evident hatred of him. The man has been dead for years. Leave it alone; get on with your life.

  • Howard S. Taylorsville, UT
    Feb. 11, 2018 3:32 p.m.

    After twenty years it seems Johnsen has moved on from the dark times, instead choosing to focus on the fun going to the final four.

    But not Rock... never missing a chance to dredge up in the dark side of Majerus’ genius.

    Yeah, like most people Mojo had a dark side. He also had a side that was remarkably good.

    The man is dead, Rock. While not pretending that there was no dark side, perhaps the respectful thing would be to focus on the good.

    Isn’t that what we would all hope for in our own passing?

  • freemale221g Orem, UT
    Feb. 11, 2018 1:21 p.m.

    I don't know what you Ute fans are complaining about as it was a nice article honoring Majerus. Yes I imagine he was hard to work with most good coaches are as they won't settle for less than perfection. The thing that got me was there was no mention how Majerus lied about his health so he could get out of his contract for at Utah so he could coach in California and the fact Majerus was very anti-mormon. Otherwise the article was a very nice tribute to Majerus.

  • uterebel las vegas, NV
    Feb. 11, 2018 8:34 a.m.

    what a crap article!! without majerus there is no way andre or doleac make the nba! i would rather have read an article about how the refs swallowed their whistles in the 2nd half of the championship game, how kentucky's 6th man was formally charged with dui that happened in february, or how rich and george karl devised the perfect defense against arizona and then north carolina!
    let the greatest coach utah has ever had rest in peace!!

  • pragmatistferlife Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 11, 2018 8:03 a.m.

    Sorry Johnsen, I do know people that were close to him..very close, and he was fiercely loyal to them. Did they experience his wrath, of course, and he theirs. You had to have a strong personality and constitution to be his friend.

    Majerus wasn't for sissies.

  • Dennis Harwich, MA
    Feb. 11, 2018 6:37 a.m.

    I doubt Brad that any and everything that you may have observed as offensive or a "problem" won't compare to what's been done to the BYU football program this past few years. I know a couple of Utah players that played for Rick that love him like a father.

  • JohnInSLC Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 10, 2018 11:38 p.m.

    "Move on, isn't there another Utah coach who gets under your skin?"


    The right question is: Is there another Utah coach that DOESN'T get under your skin?

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    Feb. 10, 2018 10:26 p.m.

    Come on Rock, give it a rest already. He was four coaches ago and has been dead five years but 90% of the article is about what an awful person Majerus was. Why not write about what a great team that was? Why not give us an update on what those players are doing now?
    Once a year you've got to write about what a horrible person Maji was.
    Move on, isn't there another Utah coach who gets under your skin?