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Saturday, December 1, 2012
Rick Majerus will be missed

By Dick Vitale
ESPN.com

It was so sad to hear about the passing of former ESPN colleague and one helluva coach Rick Majerus. He will be missed by many.

Rick was a guy who lived college basketball. He ate, drank and slept the sport. I had seen him talking to fellow coaches at dinner, drawing up plays on napkins.

Rich Majerus
Rick Majerus won 323 games at Utah, leading the Utes to the 1998 NCAA title game.

Majerus was an old-school coach, brought up as a longtime assistant under the legendary Al McGuire at Marquette. He later served as the head coach there.

He was a winner at Utah, getting all the way to the championship game before losing to Kentucky in San Antonio in 1998. I remember how thrilled he was to be down at the Riverwalk with a number of fellow coaches, including his buddy Ben Howland. He was so proud of Andre Miller, Michael Doleac and the rest of that squad.

He was thrilled with Keith Van Horn, one of the PTPers he coached. Majerus was always caring about his players. He was a winner in the game of life.

I know how respected he was in the coaching fraternity. Guys like George Karl loved him and said so many nice things about Majerus over the years.

He was very special in Saint Louis. Look what he did last season when his Billikens took Michigan State to the wire in the NCAA tournament.

He was so emotional after that game. Little did we know that would be the last one he ever coached.

I loved his passion about the sport. I loved his knowledge of the game. He was a fun guy to be around.

Rick, may you rest in peace.