This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Lots of stories about former basketball coach Rick Majerus are being bantered about this week following his death Saturday in Los Angeles. I wasn't on the Utah beat when he was coaching the Utes, but I've heard plenty of the stories, both good and bad, to understand Majerus was a very complex man whose ways earned him both friends and enemies, admirers and detractors. But it's hard to disagree with his success with the Utes as he guided the team to four appearances in the Sweet 16, with the run to the 1998 NCAA Championship game being his crowning moment. Kentucky won that game, 78-69, marking the third time the Wildcats got the best of Majerus. Majerus told The New Orleans Times-Picayune that "When I die, they might as well bury me at the finish line at Churchill Downs so they can run over me again." Majerus was always joking about his health and death, no doubt mindful that he was living life on the edge. Sadly, he couldn't take better care of himself and passed away at 64-years-old. Majerus' ways weren't always politically correct and he put Utah's administration in some tough situations on more than one occasion, but the guy could coach and for that talent he should at least be recognized. Honor the skill, but don't glorify the man I say. Utah athletic director Chris Hill will address media members about Majerus before today's regularly scheduled press conference with coach Larry Krystkowiak. - Lya Wodraska