Dec. 3, 2012
SALT LAKE CITY - The University of Utah mourns the loss of former head men's basketball coach Rick Majerus, who passed away Saturday, Dec. 1. The school will honor Majerus at this Wednesday's men's basketball game vs. Boise State (tipoff 6:30 p.m. MT) and further recognition is being planned to commemorate his place in University of Utah men's basketball history.
"I heard from Mr. Huntsman of Coach Majerus' passing and all of us in the University of Utah community are deeply saddened," said Utah Athletics Director Chris Hill. "Rick left a lasting legacy at the University of Utah, not only for his incredible success and the national prominence he brought to our basketball program, but also for the tremendous impact he made on the young men who were fortunate enough to play on his teams. His standard of excellence extended beyond the basketball court and into the academic and personal success of his players. He will be deeply missed and we grieve for his family and all of his friends."
Majerus coached the Runnin' Utes from 1989-2004, leading them to the NCAA Championship game in 1998. He was named the 1998 John Wooden National Coach of the Year after his Utes played Kentucky for the national championship. The No. 3 seeded-Utes defeated two No. 1 seeds (Arizona and North Carolina) during their run to the title game. In his 15 seasons, Utah earned a bid to the NCAA Tournament 11 times, making the Elite Eight in 1997 and the Sweet 16 in 1991 and 1996.
Despite missing most of three seasons due to health or personal reasons, Majerus averaged 21 wins a season on the hill, amassing a record of 323-95 and winning nearly 80-percent of his games. A five-time Western Athletic Conference Coach of the Year, Majerus led the Utes to nine regular-season conference championships and four conference tournament crowns.
Majerus coached three All-Americans, including two-time winners Keith Van Horn (1996, '97) and Andre Miller (1998, '99), along with Michael Doleac (1998). Van Horn and Miller were Consensus All-Americans in 1997 and 1999, respectively. His six NBA draft picks from Utah included first-round picks Van Horn (1997), Doleac (1998) and Miller (1999). Van Horn was the No. 2 overall pick, while Miller went eighth and Doleac 12th.
Majerus' final season at Utah was in 2003-04, when he led Utah to a 15-5 record before retiring due to health concerns. He later returned to the bench, coaching at Saint Louis University from 2007-12.