MILWAUKEE -- Former Marquette basketball coach Hank Raymonds died early Monday after a long battle with cancer, the school said. He was 86.
Raymonds, a former assistant coach under Al McGuire, took over as head coach after McGuire's departure in 1977 and coached until 1983, compiling a career record of 126-50.
"The Marquette family has lost a champion today," said Boston Celtics coach and former Marquette player Doc Rivers. "A true 'Warrior.' For me, I've lost a mentor. Coach was more than a basketball coach. He was my life coach. I'm saddened with his passing and lucky he came into my life."
Raymonds joined Marquette's coaching staff in 1961 under then-head coach Eddie Hickey, who was Raymond's coach at Saint Louis University. Raymonds stayed on when McGuire took over as head coach in 1964, and became known as the sharp basketball tactician behind McGuire's charismatic personality.
Marquette won the NCAA national championship in 1977, and Raymonds took over as head coach after McGuire retired from coaching to go into broadcasting.
All six of his Marquette teams advanced to postseason play, including five trips to the NCAA tournament. Five of his players were All-America honorees and 16 players were selected in the NBA Draft.
Former Marquette player Bo Ellis said Raymonds was as important to Marquette as McGuire.
"And coach McGuire would be the first to say that," Ellis said. "He gave us more than anyone could imagine every day. We were a family and coach Raymonds treated us like his sons. Without him I wouldn't have a college degree. I had no father when I got to Marquette but I left Marquette with one, coach Raymonds. He did so much for so many. I will miss him dearly."
Current Marquette coach Buzz Williams said he saw Raymonds for the last time on Friday.
"His spirit was as vibrant as it always was," Williams said. "He was selfless and his passion was for the people of our institution and of our department. I am grateful for his willingness to share his wisdom and we will continue to work to honor the totality of what he was about on and off the floor."
Raymonds was born in St. Louis on March 5, 1924, and attended Saint Louis University, where he graduated in January of 1949 with a bachelor's degree in education.
Rick Majerus succeeded Raymond as coach in 1983. After his coaching career, he continued working as the school's athletic director until 1987 and played a lead role in elevating Marquette's women's athletic teams to Division I status in 1985.
"He truly loved everyone involved with Marquette University and it showed," said Tom Crean, who coached at Marquette before taking the job at Indiana. "A great reward for me in nine years of being the head coach was to have a game end and to see coach Raymonds after the game in the hallway on the walk back to the locker room and to get some words of wisdom, encouragement or direction from him. I miss that greatly."
Funeral arrangements were pending, according to the school.