Majerus says he won't return to coach Utah

Posted: Wednesday, February 11, 2004

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) Rick Majerus said Tuesday he will not coach the University of Utah again this season, ending his 15-year association with the school he brought to national prominence.

''No. I won't come back this year, and I won't coach next year for sure,'' Majerus told ESPN.

He also ruled out coaching Utah in the future.

''They need to hire a coach,'' Majerus said. ''I've divorced myself from this.''

Apparently, the decision was not Majerus' alone.

''His doctor told him that under no circumstances was he coming back this year,'' Majerus' attorney, Bob Henderson, told The Associated Press.

Majerus did not immediately return a phone message to the AP left through Henderson.

Majerus left the team on Jan. 28 because of heart problems.

He had said he would retire at the end of the season, however, both he and the university left open the chance he would still return to coach this season.

Majerus has not told the university that he would not return, athletic director Chris Hill told The Associated Press on Tuesday. However, he said officials have been in contact with some of Majerus' closest friends.

''We have every indication that is what he was planning,'' Hill said of Majerus' decision. ''That fits in line with conversations we've had.''

Assistant coach Kerry Rupp has led Utah (18-5) to a 3-0 mark since Majerus left.

''We're going to leave everything the way it is,'' Hill said. ''We've won three in a row, and we don't want to interfere with that success.''

Majerus came to Utah in 1989. In the 1990s, Utah ranked eighth among NCAA Division 1 programs in both wins, 250, and winning percentage, .767. The team has made 10 trips to the NCAA tournament including advancing to the 1998 NCAA Final Four, losing to Kentucky in the national championship game.

Majerus' health problems have forced him to take extended leaves in two other seasons since he started at Utah.

He coached just six games in his first season before undergoing heart bypass surgery in December 1989. He coached one game in the 2000-01 season before leaving to deal with health issues and care for his ailing mother.

Rupp coached the team in one game last season, filling in when Majerus left to attend the funeral of the stepfather of a former player.

Subscribe to Peninsula Clarion

Trending this week:


© 2018. All Rights Reserved. | Contact Us