REUTERS — Rick Majerus, long-time coach of the men’s basketball team at Utah, is to resign at the end of the season, the school said Wednesday.
The 55-year-old was hospitalized Tuesday after suffering chest pains at dinner. He is currently in the care of his cardiologist at Santa Barbara hospital.
The school said that although he would try to return to finish the season, he would definitely not be back in 2005.
Assistant coach Kerry Rupp will take over the team in the interim. The 2003-2004 season is Rupp’s third as an assistant at Utah. He joined the Utes in 2001 after coaching the boys’ basketball team at East High School in Salt Lake City. The 49-year-old coach played college basketball at both Utah State and Southern Utah. He had never coached above the high-school level before joining Majerus’ staff.
Utah is 15-5 this season but has lost its last two games.
Majerus has taken health leave on two other occasions since becoming Utah’s coach in 1989. In December of his first year at Utah, he left the team after just six games due to undergo heart bypass surgery. In 2000-2001, he coached only one game due to the health problems of not only himself but of his mother.
He has turned the team into one of the premier squads in the NCAA. Utah, led by current NBA players Andre Miller and Michael Doleac, lost to Kentucky in the championship game of the NCAA tournament in 1998. He has led his Utes to the NCAA Sweet 16 four times.
Majerus has a record of 323-95 at the school. His teams have been to the NCAA tournament 10 times, and he has never suffered a losing season. In his 13 seasons in Utah, the Utes have captured 10 conference titles.
Majerus has coached five All-Americans and has won an equal number of national Coach of the Year awards.
For his career as a head coach, he has compiled a 323-95 mark. In addition to Utah, he has also coached at Marquette (1983-86), Ball State (1987-89) and has served as an assistant coach with the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks in 1986-87.