When the news came Saturday that former Saint Louis and Utah coach Rick Majerus had died while waiting for a heart transplant in Los Angeles, the tributes to him quickly became too numerous to count. His fun and quirky personality and his basketball genius were widely revered and his storytelling was legend. He was 64.
Here are some of the more notable reactions to Majerus' passing on the day he died.
Utah athletic director Dr. 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."
Loyola coach and former Majerus assistant Porter Moser, @PorterMoser
"RIP to my friend and mentor Coach Majerus. I learned so much about the game and life. We lost a One of the best! My heart is heavy tonight."
Frank Layden, former Utah Jazz coach quoted by the Salt Lake Tribune
"He just loved basketball. He could sit and talk basketball with you for hours."
ESPN analyst Dick Vitale, @DickieV: "So sad to hear about the passing of former ESPN colleague and one helluva coach Rick Majerus. He will be missed by many. May he RIP."
Former Saint Louis player Kyle Cassity, quoted by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "He did so much for St. Louis in general and did so much for me, to be honest. He gave me the opportunity of a lifetime and made me a better person. I'll be forever grateful for that. He's a hell of a coach and was a great mentor to me and a lot of other people. I hate to see him go."
ESPN analyst Fran Fraschilla and former New Mexico coach @franfraschilla
"Rick Majerus was on my Mount Rushmore of basketball teachers along with Hubie Brown, Bob Knight, Dick Bennett and Bob Hurley."
Xavier coach Chris Mack @CoachChrisMack
"Sad news in the world of college basketball. Coach Majerus made us all better coaches by having to play his teams. He will be missed."
ESPN analyst Jay Bilas @JayBilas
"RIP Rick Majerus. Too soon. Rick loved the game. Not just what he got from the game, or who he was in the game. He just loved the game."
Salt Lake Tribune columnist Gordon Monson
"He didn't always use attractive language or imagery on the court with his players, and sometimes he was downright crude and verbally abusive, but his basketball methodology was a thing of beauty. If you needed a coach to get you a win, or get you 25 wins, his name would be near the top of anybody's list."
Saint Louis athletic director Chris May
"What I will remember most about Rick's tenure at SLU was his enduring passion to see his players excel both on and off the court. Wins and losses meant a lot to him, but not more than to see our student-athletes succeed in the classroom. He truly embraced the term student-athlete, and I think that will be his lasting legacy."
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