LOS ANGELES — Outspoken, humorous and a basketball tactician, longtime college coach Rick Majerus died Saturday night from a heart condition. He was 64.
"No one saw the game like he saw it," said Loyola of Chicago coach Porter Moser, a protege and former Majerus assistant at Saint Louis. "All of the people who will be talking about him, they didn't have the luxury of being in a room filled with dry erase boards and preparing for a game with Rick Majerus, watching him dissect how we're going to stop an opponent. He was a basketball guy through and through."
Moser said Mr. Majerus was taken off of life support after dealing with a heart condition that caused him to take a leave of absence from Saint Louis. The school announced on Nov. 16 that he would not return this season.
Mr. Majerus was 517-215 in 25 years of coaching, with only one losing season and a trip to the NCAA Tournament championship game in 1998. He guided 12 teams to the NCAA Tournament, including the Billikens last season.
He was known most for guiding Utah to the NCAA title game, where the Utes lost to Kentucky.
Mr. Majerus started his career with his alma mater, then-independent Marquette in 1983. He moved on to coach at Ball State and Utah.
After a three-year absence from the game, he returned to coaching to take on the job at Saint Louis in 2007. He had accepted a job in 2004 at USC but for health reasons instead returned to his role as an ESPN analyst.
He ended the Billikens' 12-year NCAA Tournament drought last season with a 26-win season.