Wednesday, December 5, 2012

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

Posted By on Wed, Dec 5, 2012 at 8:57 AM

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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