MILWAUKEE, Wisc. — Hundreds of friends and fans of former University of Utah basketball coach Rick Majerus bid their final farewells Saturday.
Majerus died Saturday, Dec. 2 in Los Angeles at the age of 64 from heart failure. The coach had suffered heart problems for years and undergone surgeries and various treatments for them.
Family, friends, former players and fans traveled to Majerus' hometown of Milwaukee, Wisconsin for his funeral, held in the Church of the Gesu. He was buried in Wisconsin as well.
Former players described him as a loyal friend, and a demanding coach who pushed them to their limits. Former play by play announcer for the Univerisity of Utah Bill Marcroft says Majerus was more than a coach.
"Everybody has talked about how great a coach he is, but he would rather have his epitaph not say a great coach, but a great teacher," Marcroft said. "He really emphasized the idea that he taught the game of basketball."
Majerus' record was 517-216 over 25 years. He had 15 20-win seasons and two 30-win seasons. He led Utah to the NCAA finals in 1998 and also coached at Marquette, Ball State and Saint Louis University.
Saint Louis' 15 current players were listed as official pallbearers of their head coach's casket. About a dozen former Utah players attended the funeral Saturday, including Keith Van Horn, Andre Miller and Michael Doleac.
Also attending were NBA figures George Karl, Doc Rivers and Del Harris.
Contributing: Associated Press