- Eamonn Brennan, College Basketball Reporter
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Rick Majerus was brilliant and obsessive. He was a beloved and dedicated friend, and a (by many accounts) a total jerk to work and play for. He would torment local media members but mentor student reporters. He harped on discipline, but was done in by his own ravenous appetite. He won 517 college basketball games, most of them without recruiting the nation's most prized prospects, almost all of them while coaching Utah and Saint Louis, two programs outside the sport's traditional power structure. He showed up to recruit Keith Van Horn in shorts and flip flops.
The point is, if there's one thing I've learned hearing so many touching, artfully written remembrances since Majerus' death Saturday, it's that the man was anything but normal.
It is only fitting, then, that Utah's lasting tribute to the greatest coach in school history is a little quirky, too. From the Associated Press:
University of Utah officials will honor the legacy of Rick Majerus by hanging a replica of his trademark white sweater from the rafters at the basketball arena where he coached from 1989 to 2004 and regularly led the Utes to the NCAA tournament.
"We want people to know it's Rick," Utah athletic director Chris Hill said. "You'll know it's a sweater, but at the same time it won't diminish anybody else who is out there."
That big white knit sweater is probably the most obvious of Majerus's Utah-era trademarks; Utes fans must be unable to picture the man on a sideline without it. To be honest, I'm not sure Utah could have done this any better.
Rick Majerus was brilliant and obsessive. He was a beloved and dedicated friend, and a (by many accounts) a total jerk to work and play for. He would torment local media members but mentor student reporters.