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Rick Majerus
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Title Head coach
College Saint Louis
Sport Basketball
Born February 17, 1948 (1948-02-17) (age 61)
Place of birth United States Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin
Career highlights
MWC Regular Season Championship (2003)
WAC Tournament Championship (1995, 1997, 1999)
WAC Regular Season Championship (1991, 1993, 1995,
1996, 1997, 1999)
MAC Tournament Championship (1989)
MAC Regular Season Championship (1989)
WAC Coach of the Year (1991, 1993, 1995, 1997, 1999)
Playing career
1967–1968 Marquette
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
Marquette (asst.)
Milwaukee Bucks (asst.)
Ball State
Saint Louis

Rick Majerus (born February 17, 1948 in Sheboygan, Wisconsin) is the men's basketball head coach at Saint Louis University. He has coached at Marquette University from 1983 to 1986, Ball State University from 1987 to 1989, and University of Utah from 1989–2004.

Majerus graduated from Marquette University High School in 1966 and then attended Marquette, where he tried-out as a walk-on in the 1967 season. He did not play for Marquette, but stayed on as a student assistant. He graduated in 1970 with a degree in History. He began coaching eighth-graders at St. Sebastian Grade School in Milwaukee, then coached Freshmen high schoolers at Marquette University High School. He was an assistant coach with the Marquette Warriors for 12 years, under mentor Al McGuire until 1977, and under Hank Raymonds until taking over as head coach himself in 1983. After three years as head coach at Marquette, and a 56-35 record, he became an assistant coach with the Milwaukee Bucks for the 1986-87 season. He coached at Ball State during the 1987-88 and 88-89 seasons, finishing with a record of 43-17.

He was an assistant coach under Don Nelson for the US national team in the 1994 FIBA World Championship, winning the gold medal.[1]

He led Utah to the Final Four in 1998, eventually losing to Kentucky in the National Championship Game. He was greatly affected by the loss, and claims to be able to recap the last six minutes of the championship game second by second.[2] While at Utah, he was known for living out of a hotel room, noting that he liked that "There’s clean towels, my bed is turned down every night and there’s a mint on my pillow, no matter what psychological or emotional crisis the maid is going through."[3][2] He left Utah in January 2004 after 15 seasons and 323 victories in part to get control of his health; he claimed to have undergone seven heart bypass operations.[4] While at Ball State and Utah, Majerus was considered a major candidate for numerous major head coaching positions, including UCLA, St. John's, UNLV, Arizona State, Notre Dame, Minnesota, Texas, Wisconsin, San Diego State and the NBA’s Golden State Warriors.[5]

On December 15, 2004, Majerus was hired as coach of the University of Southern California basketball team; he was to replace interim coach Jim Saia, himself replacing fired coach Henry Bibby, with Majerus taking over effective April 1, 2005. His contract was scheduled to pay him $5 million over five years.[6] He gave an energetic and humorous press conference on the day of his hire, but also noting "I hope I die here. I hope I coach here the rest of my life."[7][2] In order take the position, he needed to buy himself out of his contract as an analyst for ESPN.[5] However, Majerus unexpectedly resigned only five days later in a somber, and at times weeping, press conference. He apologized to the university and stated that his health and fitness were not yet at a stage where he thought he could perform his new duties, noting "I wanted this job so bad I was in denial where my health actually is [. . .] I realized [USC] wasn’t getting the guy they hired. I came to that conclusion myself. I’m not fit for this job by my standards."[4]

He worked as a game and studio analyst for ESPN from 2004–2007. He made the statement while watching the University of Kentucky play in the 1996 champoinship that if he saw Ashley Judd before he went back to the hotel, he would not have to rent a pay per view movie.

Majerus is something of a fan favorite and cult figure around college basketball, known for his rotund figure and his quirky, jovial personality. Rick enjoys bratwursts. [8]. He has had a history of heart trouble which led to his resignation from Utah.

On April 27, 2007, Majerus accepted the head coaching position at Saint Louis University. His contract is for six years.[9]


Head Coaching Record

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Tournament Finish Rank#
Marquette Warriors (1983-1986)
1983-84 Marquette 17-13 NIT Second Round
1984-85 Marquette 20-11 NIT Third Round
1985-86 Marquette 19-11 NIT Second Round
At Marquette 56-35
Ball State Cardinals (Mid-American Conference) (1987-1989)
1987-88 Ball State 14-14 8-8
1988-89 Ball State 29-3 14-2 1 NCAA Second Round
At Ball State 43-17
Utah Utes (Western Athletic Conference) (1989-1999)
1989-90 Utah* 4-2
1990-91 Utah 30-4 15-1 1 NCAA Sweet Sixteen #10
1991-92 Utah 24-11 9-7 4-T NIT Third Place
1992-93 Utah 24-7 15-3 1-T NCAA Second Round #16
1993-94 Utah 14-14 8-10 5-T
1994-95 Utah 28-6 15-3 1 NCAA Second Round #22
1995-96 Utah 27-7 15-3 1 NCAA Sweet Sixteen #12
1996-97 Utah 29-4 15-1 1 NCAA Elite Eight #6
1997-98 Utah 30-4 12-2 1 Mountain Division NCAA Runner Up #2
1998-99 Utah 28-5 14-0 1 NCAA Second Round #10
Utah Utes (Mountain West Conference) (1999-2004)
1999-00 Utah 23-9 10-4 1-T NCAA Second Round
2000-01 Utah** 1-0
2001-02 Utah 21-9 10-4 2 NCAA First Round
2002-03 Utah 25-8 11-3 1-T NCAA Second Round
2003-04 Utah*** 15-5 3-2
At Utah 323-95
Saint Louis Billikens (Atlantic 10 Conference) (2007- Present)
2007-08 Ssint Louis 16-15 7-9 9-T
2008-09 Saint Louis 18-14 8-8 5
2009-10 Saint Louis 11-5 2-0
At Saint Louis 45-34 17-17
Career 467-181
     National Championship           Conference Tournament Championship
#Rankings from final Coaches Poll of the season.
*Coached the first six games before undergoing heart surgery. Assistant Joe Cravens coached the rest of the season.
**Coached the first game before taking a personal leave of absence. Assistant Dick Hunsaker coached the rest of the season.
***Coached the first 20 games before retiring due to health concerns. Assistant Kerry Rupp coached the rest of the season.

Coaching Awards

  • WAC Coach of the Year: 1991, 1993, 1995, 1997 (media), 1999
  • District Coach of the Year (1991, 1993, 1995, 1996)
  • Playboy Magazine Coach of the Year (1992, 1998)
  • UPI National Coach of the Year (1991)
  • Basketball Times National Coach of the Year (1991)
  • Utah Sports Person of the Year (1992 and 1997)
  • John Wooden Award (National Coach of the Year) 1998

Published works

In 2000, he released an autobiography My Life On a Napkin : Pillow Mints, Playground Dreams and Coaching the Runnin' Utes (ISBN 0-7868-8445-2), co-written by Gene Wojciechowski.


  1. ^ 1994 USA Basketball
  2. ^ a b c Bill Dwyre, Livin’ Large, if All Too Briefly, With Majerus, Los Angeles Times, December 24, 2004, Accessed January 16, 2009
  3. ^ Larry Stewart, He Admits to Just One Big Vice, With Relish, Los Angeles Times, December 16, 2004, Accessed January 16, 2009
  4. ^ a b Mike Terry and Jason Reid, He Just Wasn’t Fit to Be Tied Down, Los Angeles Times, December 21, 2004, Accessed January 16, 2009
  5. ^ a b Paul Gutierrez, It’s a Feel-Good Story, Los Angeles Times, December 16, 2004, Accessed January 16, 2009
  6. ^ Paul Gutierrez, Floyd Looks Like a Keeper for Trojans, Los Angeles Times, January 14, 2005, Accessed January 16, 2009
  7. ^ Bill Plaschke, Laughter Belies a Serious Quest, Los Angeles Times, December 16, 2004, Accessed January 16, 2009
  8. ^ "Rick Majerus Quotes".  
  9. ^ Saint Louis Hires Coach Rick Majerus


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