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Remembering Rick Majerus

Brad Choat
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Billikens basketball fan Nick Marchesano poses with a sign of former SLU coach Rick Majerus on December 2, 2012. (KMOX/Brad Choat)

Billikens basketball fan Nick Marchesano poses with a sign of former SLU coach Rick Majerus on December 2, 2012. (KMOX/Brad Choat)

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ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - St. Louis University continues to mourn the loss of former men’s basketball coach Rick Majerus.

The 64-year-old died Saturday in California of heart failure.

Billikens fans who attended Sunday’s home game against Valparaiso broke out in a chant of the late coach’s name after a pregame moment of silence. Players wore a small black ribbon on their white jerseys in remembrance of Majerus.

Saint Louis University director of athletics Chris May was a guest on KMOX’s “Sports on a Sunday Morning” show with guest host Tom Ackerman and spoke highly of his former colleague, “You won’t find a more gregarious person that really lived life to the fullest. There’s no question he took a lot of interest in everyone’s lives who had the ability to get close to him.”

KMOX caught up with a few Billikens fans before Sunday’s game for their thoughts on the passing of Rick Majerus.

“If you’re a sports fan you usually think of sports first, but I think he made you realize it’s more than just a game,” one man said.

A woman said, “I was here at the game last season when the two kids who were graduating left the game and said so many good things about him and how much they’d miss him. It brought tears to my eyes.”

Nick Marchesano brought one of the signs spotted in the crowd at Chaifetz Arena, Sunday, “It says Sluperman at the bottom. It’s got the S-L-U in blue. And it’s a picture of Superman with Rick Majerus’ head superimposed on the body.”

The O’Fallon, Ill. native took the sign last season to Ohio when the Bills played in the NCAA Tournament. He says Majerus noticed it and told a sportswriter he appreciated it.

Marchesano thought it just seemed right to bring it Sunday, as fans honored the legacy of the coach, “He was such a big name nationally coming here. It was really something to say to friends that ‘We’ve got Rick Majerus, we’re going to build something here.'”

Majerus will be laid to rest on Saturday in his hometown of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. A funeral Mass is planned for 11:30 Saturday morning at Gesu Catholic Church in Milwaukee.

 

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