"I read the wire story lead on his death, the one that described him as “the jovial college basketball coach who led Utah to the 1998 NCAA final and had only one losing season in 25 years with four schools.” He wasn’t jovial in practices. Or games. Those were intellectual cage matches for him. Whatever the spread was in those games, Majerus was worth at least three points, probably more. That year Utah (Utah!) reached the national championship game and actually led Kentucky at halftime, Majerus and the Runnin’ Utes had to beat No. 1 seed Arizona in the West Regional final and then No. 1 overall seed North Carolina in the Final Four semis. I was embedded with Utah as part of an ESPN The Magazine assignment. Usually after wins, Majerus would hunker down with a postgame pizza and game video of the next opponent. But after the 25-point victory against Arizona and its NBA roster, Majerus could be found in the hotel whirlpool, sipping on an umbrella drink. That was the same night, as he floated off the court in Anaheim, Calif., he spotted me in the tunnel and said, “Give me a hug, Polish Falcon.” The Columbia Journalism Review might not like it, but when the 300-pound Majerus cornered you for a hug, well, you were getting a hug."
― Gene Wojciechowski’s tribute to Coach Rick Majerus, who guided Utah to the NCAA Final in 1998 and enjoyed success at several schools. Majerus, who had taken a leave of absence from his coaching position at the University of St. Louis, died Saturday of heart failure at 64. (via timekiller-s)