Best Coach - 2008
Rick Majerus' first year at the helm of Billiken basketball was...predictably mediocre. With the cupboard left bare following the departure of Brad Soderberg, the team finished with just sixteen wins and tied for ninth place in the Atlantic 10 Conference. Still, Majerus managed to make things interesting. He added a strong emphasis on academics to the program, and two players were named to the academic all-conference team. With his history of heart problems, it appeared at times (such as during a loss to George Washington in which his team scored a record-low twenty points) as if the rotund coach might keel over. Yet he maintained his legendary sense of humor, telling reporters at one postgame press conference, "We're going to get food in here after the games even if I have to pay for it myself." Next season look for the Billikens to rebound after moving into brand-new Chaifetz Arena and drawing a strong recruiting class anchored by six-foot-eleven power forward Willie Reed out of Kansas City.