30, 2007, Rick Majerus was introduced as the 24th head coach of the Billiken
basketball program. Without question, Majerus is the most accomplished head
coach in the history of the Saint Louis University basketball. When he was
announced to a cheering throng at an introductory news conference, the
University made a loud and clear statement about its commitment to Billiken
University reaped the benefits of the hire during the 2011-12 season, when
Majerus led the Billikens to the third round of the NCAA Tournament and a 26-8
record, the second-most wins in school history. By winning the ESPN 76 Classic
- SLU's first in-season tourney win since 1986 - the Billikens entered the
national rankings for the first time since 1994.
reputation as one of the game's keenest minds is supported by a litany of
career accomplishments. In 25 years of coaching at the collegiate level,
Majerus has amassed a 517-216 career record, which includes a 95-69 mark in
five seasons at the helm of the Billikens. Majerus' record stands among the
elite in college basketball. His 517 career wins and .705 winning percentage
appear in the NCAA recordbook among active head coaches. He has taken 12 teams
to the NCAA Tournament, four to the NIT and one to the CBI Tournament finals.
He has reached the 20-win plateau 15 times, including two seasons with 30 wins.
season marked the Billikens return to the NCAA Tournament, their first
appearance in the Big Dance since 2000. Armed with a veteran squad, SLU jumped
out to a 6-0 mark. The final four games of that stretch came against major
conference opponents - Washington, Boston College, Villanova and Oklahoma. The
nation took notice, and the Billikens achieved a top 25 ranking (No. 23 AP/No.
25 ESPN/USA Today) after their fast start.
go on to capture a first-round bye and the No. 2 seed at the Atlantic 10
Conference Tournament after going 12-4 in the competitive league slate.
result was an at-large bid into the NCAA Tournament, giving SLU its first
at-large appearance since 1998. Majerus led the Billikens to a 61-54 victory
against Memphis in the second round in Columbus, Ohio. Only once has a
Majerus-coached team never won at least one game in the NCAA Tournament. The
Billikens bowed out of the tournament after a hard-fought matchup against No. 1
seed Michigan State.
the Billikens' best season in the Majerus Era came in 2009-10, as Majerus led
the Bills to 23 victories. The Billikens earned their first postseason
tournament appearance since 2004 when they accepted a bid to play in the
College Basketball Invitational. SLU stormed to the best-of-three championship
series against VCU before seeing their season come to an end.
As proud as
Majerus is of his players on the court, their classroom achievements bring him
even more satisfaction. In Majerus' program, academics are the top priority.
That approach has led to 48 different players earning academic All-Conference
awards. Since stepping foot on Saint Louis' campus, Majerus has coached two
Academic All-Americans - Brian Conklin and Kevin Lisch.
years with the Billikens, Majerus has had eight players earn Academic
All-Conference honors, the most by any A-10 program during that span. When
Conklin was named Academic All-American in 2011-12, it was the sixth player to
earn Academic All-America honors. Michael Doleac and Drew Hansen were both
selected in 1997-98, making Utah the first Final Four team with two Academic
All-Americans in its starting lineup.
won the 1997 Playboy Magazine Anson Mount Scholar-Athlete Award for basketball,
was a Rhodes Scholar candidate and was a finalist for the Walter Byers Award,
the highest academic award given by the NCAA. In addition to Hansen, Majerus is
proud to have coached two other Rhodes Scholar candidates during his career:
Marc Marotta at Marquette and Rich Hall at Ball State.
time at the University of Utah, Majerus led the Utes to 10 NCAA Tournaments and
10 regular-season conference titles. He coached his teams to four Sweet 16
appearances, two Elite Eights and the 1998 national championship game. Utah
finished four seasons ranked in the top 10 during his 15-year tenure, including
a No. 2 ranking at the end of the 1997-98 season.
Utah to 10 regular-season conference championships in 13 years, the most of any
NCAA Division I program in the nation from 1990-2003. In addition, the Utes
were regularly ranked in the top 25. Utah was ranked in the final USA Today/ESPN
poll five consecutive years from 1995-1999, including top-10 finishes in both
the Associated Press and USA Today/ESPN polls from 1997-1999.
coaching earned him repeated national recognition. He was selected conference
Coach of the Year five times, and he was tabbed the Basketball Times and UPI
Coach of the Year in 1991. Majerus was the 1992 and 1998 Playboy Coach of the
Year and the John Wooden Coach of the Year in 1998. He was also a seven-time
District Coach of the Year.
taking the helm at Utah, Majerus spent two seasons at Ball State, leading the
1988-89 squad to a 29-3 overall record and a spot in the second round of the
NCAA Tournament. The Cardinals' victory over Pittsburgh was the first NCAA
Tournament win in school history.
two-year stint at Ball State was preceded by a one-year venture into
professional basketball as an assistant coach for his home-state Milwaukee
Bucks in 1986-87. Under head coach Don Nelson, Majerus helped the Bucks post a
50-32 record and qualify for the NBA playoffs.
accepted his first head coaching job at his alma mater, Marquette University,
in 1983-84 after 12 years as an assistant there. In three years as the head
coach, he led Marquette to a 56-35 record and three postseason appearances. His
best squad at MU was the 1984-85 team that posted a 20-11 record and reached
the third round of the NIT.
becoming the head coach at Marquette, Majerus served 12 years as an assistant
under legendary coach Al McGuire. Majerus was part of 11 NCAA Tournament
appearances highlighted by the NCAA championship run in 1977. Majerus' coaching
career humbly began when he was the head coach of the freshman team at
Marquette University High School from 1969-1971.
born to Alyce and Raymond Majerus on Feb., 17, 1948, in Sheboygan, Wis. Seven
years later, the family moved to Milwaukee. Majerus graduated from Marquette
University High School in 1967.
enrolled at his hometown college, Marquette, and earned a spot on the freshman
team. He did not earn a position on head coach Al McGuire's varsity squad, but
the moment began Majerus' coaching odyssey.
a student at Marquette, Majerus earned his first coaching position as an
assistant coach at St. Sebastian Junior High School in Milwaukee. That job led
to another job at his old high school. After graduating from Marquette in 1970
with a bachelor's degree in history, Majerus was hired by McGuire as a
full-time assistant in 1971. After Marquette won the 1977 national championship,
McGuire stepped down, and long-time assistant and former Billiken standout Hank
Raymonds was named head coach. Majerus was an integral member of Raymonds'
staff for six more seasons.
to his numerous collegiate coaching accolades, Majerus is well schooled in the
international scene. He was an assistant coach on the 1993 Team USA squad and
the 1994 Team USA squad known as the "Dream Team II," which claimed
the gold medal at the World Championships in Toronto. Standouts he coached on
that team included Shaquille O'Neal and Alonzo Mourning.
also the head coach of the 1997 U-22 World Championship team, which featured
another future Billiken head coach, Lorenzo Romar. He is enshrined in the
basketball halls of fame in both Utah (2000) and Wisconsin (2001) and was named
the Utah Sports Person of the Year in 1991 and 1997.
one of the finest teachers in the game, Majerus groomed three of his Utah
players into first-round NBA draft picks. Keith Van Horn was the No. 2 overall
pick in 1997, while Michael Doleac went 12th overall in 1998. Andre Miller
became Majerus' third consecutive first-round pick when he was selected eighth
in the 1999 draft.
addition, Hanno Mottola was a second-round pick in the 2000 draft, becoming the
first Finnish player to be chosen by an NBA team. Josh Grant and Byron Wilson
were also second-round draft picks in 1993.