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Rick Majerus was a great coach who loved being naked

I never knew Rick Majerus, who died on Saturday at age 64, but I can tell you that he was a great coach who loved to be naked.

Majerus played college ball at Marquette, and went on to be an assistant coach and head coach for his alma mater. He was also an assistant with the Milwaukee Bucks, and then a head coach at Ball State, Utah, and eventually St. Louis. He took the 1997-1998 Utah team featuring Andre Miller and Keith Van Horn to the Final Four. He took three different schools to the NCAA tournament. He took St. Louis down to the wire against Michigan State in the NCAA tournament in what turned out to be the last game he ever coached.

Majerus was known for his huge gut, his love of food that led to the gut, for living in a hotel room during his tenure at Utah, and for berating his players. There are also legendary stories about how crude he was.

This fantastic 2008 profile by S.L. Price in Sports Illustrated gets into a lot of it. We posted about it back in 2008, and we’ll share the great parts here again as a tribute to Majerus.

The first time, [Utah was] recruiting me, and after the game I went down to the [Utes'] locker room,” says Jeff Johnsen, who signed with Utah in 1996. “His hair’s everywhere and his sweater’s off and he’s just drenched, and he’s eating a whole pizza in front of me and he’s like, ‘You want any?’ I grab a piece, and then he starts undressing and gets in the shower and is still talking to me. It was funny. It was weird. How many grown, fat, naked men do you see when you’re a high school kid?”

Another player remembers Majerus calling him up to his hotel room on various occasions, and “he’d answer the door in his towel and I’d come in and the towel would fall off and it was like nothing had happened. He’d just be standing there buck naked. One year he had this lower-back injury, and he would have the trainer massage it with ultrasound. But instead of just lowering his pants a little bit, Majerus would pull his pants down to his ankles and sit in a chair and coach us. Sometimes he’d be like, ‘Guys, bring it in, take a knee.’ We’d come in, and we’re just like, No way this is happening.”

Price also wrote about a time Majerus whipped out his member on Michael Doleac. That story is below.

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Rick Majerus Loves Being Naked

I realize I just set you up as if I had a punchline coming. Sorry to disappoint. There will be no punchline. Instead, I will share a few anecdotes from an article on Rick Majerus in this week’s issue of Sports Illustrated. In the article it was mentioned several times that Majerus is quite the exhibitionist and that his behavior towards his players isn’t too far off from what you’d see out of Bobby Knight. From the article:

Another player remembers Majerus calling him up to his hotel room on various occasions, and “he’d answer the door in his towel and I’d come in and the towel would fall off and it was like nothing had happened. He’d just be standing there buck naked. One year he had this lower-back injury, and he would have the trainer massage it with the ultrasound. But instead of just lowering his pants a little bit, Majerus would pull his pants down to his ankles and sit in a chair and coach us. Sometimes he’d be like, ‘Guys, bring it in, take a knee.’ We’d come in, and we’re just like, No way this is happening.”

Majerus kept telling [former Utah player Michael] Doleac that he needed to keep six inches between himself and his opponent in the post. When Doleac was caught shortly after leaning on his man, the coach erupted. “‘Jesus ****in Christ, Doleac! When a guy catches the ball in the post, you gap him six inches!’” Doleac recalls Majerus yelling. “Then he turns to the guys sitting on the baseline and says, ‘Six f***** inches,’ and he says, ‘the size of the average white d***!’ and pulls it out.”

The imagery is just simply incredible, is it not? Who knew this about Majerus? I had no clue. And frankly, I’m not sure I ever wanted to know that information.