Rick Majerus: Small Act Went a Long Way for SLU Student

click to enlarge Jonathan Gold (left) and Rick Majerus in 2007, the year the coach took over SLU's basketball program.
Jonathan Gold (left) and Rick Majerus in 2007, the year the coach took over SLU's basketball program.

Editor's note: Jonathan Gold is a third-year law student at Saint Louis University. He penned this story on Sunday after learning of the death of the man he referred to simply as "Coach."

It was a little less than six years ago that I had my first encounter with Rick Majerus. I was finishing my sophomore year at Saint Louis University, and, like many, was a bit disappointed with our school's athletics at the time.

I loved college sports, basketball included, but didn't see much hope for our school in the near future. I was grabbing breakfast in the student center, and between wolfing down a bagel and making my way out of the building, I noticed something going on. A couple television news crews were making their way into a ballroom in the basement.

I peeked my head in and saw the stage and microphones set up in front of a Billikens' backdrop. I went to the back of the room, opened my laptop, and Googled "SLU Billikens." There was my answer.

SLU had hired Rick Majerus to head the men's basketball program.

- The RFT profile: "Rick Majerus, Big Man on Campus" - More Rick Majerus coverage from Riverfront Times

I didn't know much about Majerus at the time, but another quick search painted an interesting picture. I'm not sure why, but I was hooked. I was both excited and intrigued. Why would a guy like Majerus come here? As far as I could tell, he had no roots or connections here, he had a good job as an analyst, and if he wanted to coach, he certainly could go somewhere with an easier turnaround job than SLU.

That was my first lesson I learned from Rick Majerus.

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